Rethinking nature – Announcements – e-flux

Marie-Therese Alves (Brazil), Giorgio Andreotta Calò (Italy), Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan (Philippines), Adrian balseca (Ecuador), Gianfranco Baruchello (Italy), Adriana bustos (Argentina), Sebastián Calfuqueo Aliste (Chile), Cao Minghao and Chen Jianjun (China), Jimmie durham (WE), Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman (Brazil / Germany), Fernando García-Dory and INTERIOR (Spain), Ximena Garrido-Lecca (Peru), Gidrée Bawlee – Salma Jamal Moushum – Kamruzzaman Shadhin (Bangladesh), Edgar Bunch of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations / United States), Karrabing Film Collective and Elizabeth povinelli (Country Emmi, Mentha, Wadjigiyn, Kiyuk and Malakmalak / United States), Sam keogh (Ireland), Francois Knoetze (South Africa), Elena mazzi (Italy), Ana Mendieta (Cuba), Marzia Migliora (Italy), Jota Mombaça and Iki Yos Piña Narváez (Brazil / Venezuela), Sandra Monterroso (Guatemala), Niccolò Moronato (Italy), Tabita Rezaire and Amakaba (French Guiana), Zina Saro-Wiwa (United Kingdom / Nigeria), Karan shrestha (Nepal), Buhlebezwe Siwani (South Africa), Yasmine Smith (Australia), Ivano Troisi (Italy), Delicate walsh (Australia), Zheng bo (Hong Kong)

Accelerating global warming, rising seas, mass extinction of species, recent meteorological anomalies, flows and infiltrations of toxicity that cannot be contained, this unfolding predicament cannot be separated from the modern European paradigm. who sees nature as a reservoir of resources to be exploited freely for profit. Rethinking nature reveals how contemporary artistic practice contributes to cultural and political processes that collectively rethink the ethical foundations of existence in the world and underline the forms of interconnection that bind the entire planet. Featuring over 40 artists and collectives from 22 countries, the project articulates experimental creative vocabularies that aim to produce alternative bodies of knowledge and social forms centered on political ecology. They demonstrate the urgency of building relationships on the basis of other values ​​and call for radical change to address a cumulative crisis that has long existed in many geographies and that theorist Elizabeth Povinelli of Karrabing Film Collective defines today. ‘hui as “ancestral”.

A critical reading through the eyes of artists of the disciplinary separations and determinisms that have dominated the natural and geological sciences in recent centuries, the exhibition reflects on the historical and philosophical roots of an imperialist view of nature as a source of economic gain to be appropriated, and considers how the dynamics of associated domination are perpetuated in today’s global economic system. The paintings and sculptures by Argentinian artist Adriana Bustos map iconographies relating to the systematization of relationships between living beings and analyze how the natural sciences emerged and also served to naturalize colonial and racializing processes. Karrabing Film Collective presents a new constellation of video works and commissioned concept mappings — or Weather reports– which show a colonial eye that perfects its cartography as it ravages the worlds, juxtaposing the diasporic story of the Povinelli family’s displacement from the clan lands of the Italian Alps to the lands of the settlers in the United States, with the story of Karrabing’s expropriation of their ancestral lands in northern Australia. Weather reports spans five centuries to evoke the dramatic upheavals of ecologies and geographies as Europe claims control of the meaning and destiny of territories, lands and peoples.

Gianfranco Baruchello’s project Agricola Cornelia SpA, created in the 1970s near Rome as an artistic experiment in agriculture and social justice, studied how art could offer alternatives and respond to realities such as human hunger, proposing non-based forms of work on exploitation and explore relationships with the non-human and the elements. A new generation of artists is now developing articulations with small-scale agriculture and the community through projects such as INLAND created in 2010 by Fernando García-Dory in northern Spain and Amakaba, recently launched by Tabita Rezaire in the Amazon rainforest in French Guiana, which will include a cocoa farm, beekeeping and a dye garden. These artistic initiatives imagine responses to the ecological crisis, claim collective responsibility and promote a concept of climate justice.

Other artists in Rethinking nature articulate in their works interconnected forms of thought that consider the intelligence of rocks, water, plants and animals to be fundamental to disrupt the human-nature divide. At Zina Saro-Wiwa Karikpo pipeline covers the infrastructure of oil extraction with an evocation of invisible and spiritual energies, featuring an Ogoni masquerade performed by dancers in antelope masks sculpted in a landscape of pipelines. The one-design series Defend the sacred mountains by Edgar Heap of Birds collects the toponymy of the indigenous peoples of North America linked to places of ritual, worship and healing to illustrate the fragmentation caused by the nation-state and generate space for cultural resistance. Video installation by Buhlebezwe Siwani Ama Hubo creates a ritual and narrative space that affirms, through performative and bodily languages, the resilience of spiritual practices linked to the land despite the prohibitions encountered by its ancestors in southern Africa. To extend the exhibition through a large in situ installation, the Filipino artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan present Pillar, from the Serie Project another country inspired by the Badjao, a nomadic seafaring people of the Sulu Sea. The new commission, made up of hundreds of houses and cardboard plants, was developed during workshops with young people in Naples. The cascade of houses and gardens descends on the floors of the museum, suspended from a Neapolitan sailboat, inverted like a shelter in the storm, in reference to the history of the city as a Mediterranean port and to future lifestyles on the rise waters.

An illustrated exhibition catalog will be published with new critical writings by Denise Ferreira da Silva and others, as well as a series of discussions with guest artists, thinkers, activists and practitioners collaborating on associated programs.

Rethinking nature is curated by Kathryn Weir with associate curator Ilaria Conti.

Inaugural events: December 17, 2021
11 a.m .: artist interviews with Maria Thereza Alves, Adriana Bustos, Elena Mazzi, Marzia Migliora, Niccolò Moronato, Ivano Troisi.
5.30 p.m .: visit of the exhibition curators

Rethinking nature programs: February to May 2022
An articulated program of interviews, discussions, walks, workshops, study groups and online screenings with thinkers, activists and practitioners in the field of political ecology and with Rethinking nature artists.

For more details, visit here.

Inland Academy: March 3-6, 2022
Fernando García-Dory and INLAND present a module of the Inland Academy, an independent postgraduate program to collectively reinvent the power dynamics around rurality and contemporary art, the first edition of which will culminate at documenta fifteen in June 2022.

The Madre project team
Conservation aid: Sonia D’Alto, Pietro Scammacca
Production: Alessia Evangelista, Laura Mariano, with the assistance of Arianna Rosica
Scenography: Dolores Lettieri
Collection: Silvia Salvati
Institutional relations and communication: Beatrice Buti, Libera Durante, Sarah Manocchio
Editorial: Eduardo Milone, with the assistance of Valeria Bevilacqua

With special thanks for the generous support of the Rethinking nature project to Gianfranco D’Amato, Renato Magaldi and the Amici del Madre.

A big thank you also to NA! Project, Accademia delle Belle Arti di Napoli, Fondation ‘La Caixa’, Fabio Agovino, Università di Napoli Federico II, MANN – National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Orto Botanico di Napoli, Tarsia associazione culturale per piante e arte, Dedalus cooperativa sociale, Fondazione Baruchello, Tia Collection, The Estate of Ana Mendieta.


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