Burton Nitta (Michael Burton & Michiko Nitta), Near Future Algae Symbiosis Suit – Protoype, 2010, Photography, Courtesy the artist
The group exhibition Potential Worlds 2: Eco-Fictions follows up on the questions raised by Potential Worlds 1: Planetary Memories by laying out speculative projections of the web of relationships between humans and nature in light of today’s ecological situation.
The consequences of environmental devastation have made it plain that we need to understand humanity to be an integral part of rather than the center of the world. The first chapter of the exhibition series, Potential Worlds 1: Planetary Memories, turned the spotlight on the ways in which humans took possession of the natural world in pursuit of power and resources and the repercussions for nature as well as communities. Building on these insights, Potential Worlds 2: Eco-Fictions inquires into the potential worlds that might emerge from the ruins of humanity’s making: What can we do with the detritus of contemporary life and the traces of destruction? Given the precarious situation in which the world finds itself, how can we begin to look for new ways of life? Which role can art as a technological, scientific, and social experiment play in this quest?
Jimmie Durham, Alpine Substance on Wolfsburg Construction, 2007 / Photo Stefan Altenburger Photography, Zurich
Mary Maggic, Plants of the Future, 2013/2020, Commissioned by Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst and YARAT Contemporary Art Space. Courtesy the artist, photo: Lorenzo Pusterla
Anca Benera & Arnold Estefán, Debrisphere. Visibile Manifestations of the Invisible Forces / Photo Stefan Altenburger Photography Zurich
Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, A STATE, 2019
Cao Fei, Rumba II: Nomad, 2015, Videostill, Courtesy the artist and Vitamin Creative Space
The artists in the exhibition sketch visions of potential worlds and underscore that we need to imagine possible futures in concrete terms for alternative modes of life to come into being. They reflect on how we treat nature and craft ideas for novel forms of life on earth.
Korakrit Arunanondchai, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefán, Dora Budor, Burton Nitta (Michael Burton & Michiko Nitta), Julian Charrière, Carl Cheng, Jimmie Durham, Cao Fei, Peter Fend, Tue Greenfort, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison, Louis Henderson, Mary Maggic, Mileece*, Kyungwon Moon & Joonho Jeon, Adrián Villar Rojas, Pinar Yoldas, Bo Zheng
Korakrit Arunanondchai, Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3, 2017, Sammlung Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst / Photo Lorenzo Pusterla
Carl Cheng, Erosion Machine No. 4 / Photo Jeff McLane
Kyungwon Moon & Joonho Jeon, EL FIN DEL MUNDO, 2012 / Photo Stefan Altenburger Photography, Zurich
Pinar Yoldas, Organs of the Plastisphere, 2014, Courtesy the artist, Photo Lorenzo Pusterla
Peter Fend, Rapid Methane Gas Station / Photo Stefan Altenburger Photography Zurich
Peter Fend, Delancey Street Goes to the Sea No. 4 / Photo Stefan Altenburger Photography Zurich
With their diverse visions, the artists make a signal contribution to the faith in a better future. The works gathered in the exhibition present visually compelling projections of new forms of communal life involving all living beings on earth and spur a new way of thinking. Building alternative worlds begins with creative imagination – which potential worlds do you wish to live in?
An accompanying publication with essays by Benjamin H. Bratton, T. J. Demos, Suad Garayeva-Maleki & Heike Munder, Reza Negarestani and Jussi Parikka, as well as short texts by Milena Bürge, Anna Fech and Rabea Kaczor is available.
The exhibition, a cooperation with YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku, was curated by Heike Munder (director Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst) and Suad Garayeva-Maleki (former director YARAT Contemporary Art Space).