Exhibition at Triennial der Photographie Hamburg – MUSEUM FUR VOLKERKUNDE
What is the role of artist in these urgent times?
At a point when the signs of ecological issues are not imaginary problems but rather caused by unsustainable human actions, such as deforestation, pollution, water scarcity, waste, loss of biodiversity, climate change, and explosive urban population growth. So why is so difficult to understand these paradigms and so hard to act on a global scale? On the one hand, there is a lot of pessimism and resistance towards the fundamental need of political, economic, and social changes of the established mentality that persists in maintaining unsustainable practices; on the other hand, there is much evidence of efforts from pro-environmental actions around the world. However there is still so much to do and learn! And there is no single model, but we certainly need a new, more meaningful understanding of the world to transform the current system of beliefs. That requires a collective compromise depending on hope not fear, a radical rethinking, and a positive attitude towards worldwide change and care for the biosphere. We are all being confronted with the question: what needs to be done to contribute to a more sustainable future development of the environment? Although “learning from each other”, seeking resilience, and taking action have often been said to be an essential key for creating more sustainable paths, it is a process, not an end in itself. Everyday new opportunities are emerging, and we can either engage or deny them. Perhaps we should try not to deal with what was lost, but instead with what can be accomplished by doing something better than yesterday.
The ESCAPE exhibition started with two workshops coordinated by Krzysztof Candrowicz, Christian Barbe, and myself that brought together a group of artists to exchange experience and contents, question the artistic practice, and promote the discussion on sustainable cultures and environmental issues. This transdisciplinary group, intersects utopian and dystopian narratives, such as the (dis)functionality of urban environments; real and virtual spaces, the impact and relationship that humanity has with the planet; frustration and panic provoked by ecological hyperawareness; egoism and social altruism related to environmental concerns. This is the beginning of an open ended project that should not be interpreted as a critical evidence but, hope, as an invitation for action.
Curated by Virgílio Ferreira
Artists featured in the exhibition: Cláudio Reis, Constanze Flamme, Duae Collective (Luna Coppola and Silvia Campidelli), Jayne Dyer, Lisa Hoffmann, Marco Caterini and Pavel Kovalski.