<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/theme/aod-2014/css/portfolio-slideshow-noscript.css?ver=1.5.1" />

Bartok's Bugs

January 2007


Béla Bartok is famous as a leading composers of the 20th Century, and well-known as a collector of folk music from Europe and the Middle East. What is less known is that he was also a collector of bird calls and insects.His formidable collection included many species from Europe, South America, and North Africa. The insect collections were ultimately eaten by other bugs.


"He collected specimens: plants, minerals, and, especially, insects. Later in life he expressed his philosophy using a homely image drawn from nature: "There is life in this dried-up mound of dung. There is life feeding on this dead heap. You see how the worms and bugs are working busily helping themselves to whatever they need, making little tunnels and passages, and then soil enters, bringing with it stray seeds. Soon pale shoots of grass will appear, and life will complete its cycle, teeming within this lump of death." - Peter Hughes


Alma On Dobbin and 2B Gallery asked contemporary artists to respond to Bartok's bug collection with their own artworks. A number of the objects in the exhibition were brought to life by a group of puppeteers, who staged a performance at the opening, while a video projection ran in 2B Gallery's Black Room.

Return to Top




© ALMA 2014