Don't Follow the Wind
Unstable Planetary Spaces
July 6–11, 2023
Kunsthalle Giessen
Gießen, Germany

From the shrinking of the mega-lake Chad due to climate change to the irradiated Fukushima exclusion zone caused by nuclear fallout in Japan 2011, Unstable Planetary Spaces explores how artists and activists are dealing with some of the most challenging durational disasters. Kunsthalle Giessen is collaborating with the Panel on Planetary Thinking (Justus Liebig University Giessen) to highlight the work of their Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program Fellows – Adenike Titilope Oladosu (I Lead Climate Action) and Jason Waite (Don’t Follow the Wind).

The exhibition focuses on two specific planetary spaces, Lake Chad in West Africa and the Fukushima exclusion zone in Japan.that highlight the ongoing radical transformation on Earth by human beings. Through a close examination of these unstable sites we can not only see how these areas are imperiled but how they are affecting Giessen and Europe.

Environmental activist and ecofeminist Adenike Titilope Oladosu, based in Abuja, Nigeria, shows images of her work with remote sensing to better understand the shrinking of the once Lake Mega- Chad bordering Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger is a resource for millions of residents. Its pronounced reduction since the 1970s has fuelled the loss of crops and poverty, migration to Europe, and even militant groups like Boko Haram accelerating armed conflict in the region.

The curator and researcher Jason Waite is part of Don’t Follow the Wind (Chim↑Pom, Kenji Kubota, Jason Waite, Eva & Franco Mattes), a collective of artists and curators running a long- term exhibition inside the inaccessible and radioactive Fukushima exclusion zone that asks the question – What can art do in an ongoing catastrophe?

New York based-artists Eva & Franco Mattes who are also part of the collective are showing their project Fukushima Texture Packs (2015–ongoing) where they photographed textures inside the zone such as gravel roads, dead grass, or discarded mattresses and transformed these surfaces into images that can be endlessly tiled and released them online for use by filmmakers, designers, 3D modelers, or video game designers to populate new digital spaces.

The Amsterdam, Istanbul, and Berlin-based artist Ahmet Öğüt, one of the participating artists in Don’t Follow the Wind, shows a video of testing Once Upon a Time Breathing Apparatus for Breathable Air an eerie amalgamation of Fukushima’s venerable history and its contaminated present.

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