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The Secret Knowlege Of The Apis Gropius

The Gropius Bau launches the Apis Gropius (2022), a unique, site-specific augmented reality (AR) experience by Ana Prvački.


From 8 July, Prvački’s Apis Gropius can be experienced by all visitors directly on site at the atrium of the Gropius Bau. For the Gropius Bau’s first immersive augmented reality experience, Prvački drew inspiration from the botanical motifs embedded in the exhibition hall’s architecture. Prvački’s digital work manifests the institution’s overarching programmatic topics of hosting, natural structures and ecology. Prvački is the Gropius Bau’s first Digital Artist in Residence 2021/2022.

“We are bees,
and our body is a honeycomb.
We made it,
the body, cell by cell we made it.”

Rumi (1207–1273)

Through a sequence of three immersive, audio-visual experiences, Apis Gropius introduces viewers to a semi-fictional, eponymous bee species. Apis Gropius has been growing and pollinating behind the Gropius Bau’s historical walls ever since its World War II bombing. Before viewers’ eyes, the Gropius Bau’s architecture comes to life as we learn about bees, their forms of inventive organisation, and their essential insights on life, building and society.

“Ana Prvački’s work as Digital Artist in Residence is essential in making the Gropius Bau an institution that gives space to a multiplicity of perspectives. By hosting human and non-human species the Gropius Bau becomes a place where hospitality, learning and digital experience come together.”

Stephanie Rosenthal, Director of the Gropius Bau

The Magic of the Apis Gropius

Apis Gropius is derived from Prvački’s long-standing interest in bees, specifically her view that they are our hosts on this planet and that we are dependent on their pollination. Experienced in English with German subtitles, Apis Gropius is a site-specific investigation of natural patterns derived from echinacea plants, movement of swarms, and parabolic arches, as well as the habitual activities of bees. Employing Prvački’s signature playful wit, Apis Gropius is grounded in Prvački’s scientific and taxonomical research on bees and botany, and her practice making immersive forms of digital storytelling that bridge art and science.

About Ana Prvački

Ana Prvački’s training and background in music, theatre, mask work, architecture, fine art and beekeeping inform a cross-pollinating practice that ranges from watercolour to video, performance and augmented reality. Prvački has an environmentally conscious artistic practice. She has realised solo exhibitions and projects at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; and the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin. Her work has also been included in many international exhibitions, including the 2020 Bangkok Art Biennale, 13th Gwangju Biennale, 14th Istanbul Biennial, 1st Singapore Biennale and documenta (13). Her performances have been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Chicago Architecture Biennial, among others. In 2020 she was part of the Marina Abramović Sky Arts TV takeover. In 2019, as a resident at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Ana collaborated with Google Arts & Culture on Detour, a Webby Award-winning alternative tour of the museum.

Apis Gropius is accessible via the newly developed Gropius Bau app. The app will be further developed over the coming months, serving as a complementary content hub for the Gropius Bau’s digital projects. The app can be downloaded on our website or via the QR code on site. The experience takes around 20 minutes and is best heard with headphones. The app has been developed by NEEEU.