Liam Young
Liam Young: Planetary Redesign
Aug 19, 2023 – Feb 11, 2024
NGV / National Gallery of Victoria
Melbourne, Australia

Liam Young: Planetary Redesign is the first major Australian solo exhibition of filmmaker and speculative architect Liam Young. On display in Melbourne direct from its world-premiere at the 2023 Venice Biennale of Architecture, The Great Endeavor, 2023, depicts the construction of a global system of greenhouse gas extraction and storage, powered by vast renewable energy infrastructures – together capable of removing huge quantities of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. To achieve this, Young imagines a mobilisation of workers and resources on a planetary scale, enabled by international cooperation like never before.

Also on display is Young’s film Planet City, 2020, which provides a window into an alternative urban future. Commissioned for the NGV Triennial in 2020 and supported by the Bagôt Gjergja Foundation, it depicts the design of a new city for the whole human population of the earth. It questions whether the accelerating impacts of climate change could urge everyone to retreat together into one hyper-dense sustainable metropolis, providing space for the rest of the planet to recover as wilderness.

The exhibition speculates that addressing the climate emergency is no longer a technological problem – it is now a social, cultural, and political one. It offers hope that through creativity and collective action we can move together towards ecological balance on earth.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called for urgent and coordinated actions to address the climate crisis – the severe challenge posed by anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.

The IPCC has set a target to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and strives to keep it below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This requires substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared to current levels. At times the challenge ahead seems too large and complex to solve.

This exhibition offers two radical and highly speculative design ideas in response to the climate emergency. Both ideas are intended more as provocations than actual solutions. Through these radical ‘design fictions’ Liam Young calls for us all to be more ambitious, creative and collaborative in the way we address the climate crisis.

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