The Coming World / Part II
Ecology as the New Politics

Allan Sekula, Volunteer on the Edge (Islas Cies 12-20-02) from the series Black Tide | Marea Negra, 2002–2003, Cibachrome print,Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Photo: Allan Sekula Studio

[Continued from The Coming World / Part I]

Along with evidence of recent anthropogenic disasters (Black Tide/Marea Negraby Allan Sekula) and criminal attempts to brush them under the carpet (Delay Decayby Susan Schuppli), the exhibition will present works produced in collaboration with animals as agents in new relationships and new paradigms between humans, nature, and non-human species (Tomás Saraceno, Hayden Fowler), as well as various scenarios for the future based on scientific predictions and theories.

 

John Akomfrah, Still from Purple, 2017, © Smoking Dogs Film, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

John Akomfrah, Still from Purple, 2017, © Smoking Dogs Film, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

John Akomfrah, Still from Purple, 2017, © Smoking Dogs Film, Courtesy Lisson Gallery

The Coming World draws public attention to the ecological imbalances created by human activity, which many of us choose to ignore due to their incomprehensibly huge scale and unrelatability on a personal level. Inviting the viewer to face these imbalances, the exhibition takes a closer look at our repression of this painful subject, exploring its symptoms in various stages of anxiety or denial, and offers ways of working – and coping – with our collective ecological trauma. Although environmental issues are generally discussed in terms of real life and political action, art can be a unique medium in the development of the ecology discourse. It is a unique “conductor.” As an arena where alternative, mini-models of reality are speculated on, tested out, and made visible, art can serve the environmental agenda, empowering its agents to employ both abstract and concrete thinking, embodying intangible relations, and synthesizing processes. In short, art epitomizes an ecological way of thinking. Ultimately, the environmental question is the most universal contemporary agenda. It is the only one that can unite people across the planet, allowing them to experience a tiny personal action as something political.

 

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Numen/For Use, Tape Des Moines, 2017–2018, Installation view, Des Moines Art Center, Courtesy of the artists

The exhibition has been developed in dialogue with artists and activists and rethinks exhibition practice from an ecological point of view. The design was determined by the ambition to reuse structures and materials from previous projects and, where possible, works were reconstructed on site according to the artists’ instructions (Kim Abeles, Martha Rosler, Tita Salina) instead of shipping them, in order to lower the project’s carbon footprint. Around 15 pieces will be produced specially for the exhibition, and around 10 are new versions of existing works, some of which were created in collaboration with local expert communities: beekeepers, jellyfish and water purification researchers, and halotherapists. Other projects present artistic strategies that involve direct social action, such Wooloo’s open community Human Hotel. Committed to the ideals of responsible consumption, the project team chose not to produce a paper exhibition guide. Garage will publish an e-catalogue, mobile and audio guides of the exhibition, and a video dictionary of environmental terms in Russian Sign Language developed by the Museum’s Inclusive Programs Department.

 

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

John Akomfrah, Installation view of Purple, 2017, The Curve, Barbican Centre, London, Photo: Justin Piperger

Hayden Fowler, Together Again, 2017, Performance documentation, Photo: Joy Lai, VR designer: Andrew Yip, Courtesy of the artist

A new Garage Atrium Commission has been created for the exhibition The Coming World. Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping’s American Kitchen and Chinese Cockroaches, 1959–2019 revisits the Kitchen Debate between U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev at the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959. Among the large-scale, immersive installations in the exhibition are Doug Aitken’s The Garden, Rimini Protokoll’s WIN WIN, and Could You Pass Me the Salt, Please? by Anastasia Potemkina.

Norwegian artist Tori Wrånes will present a site specific performance as part of Garage Live at the opening of the exhibition. The emphasis on performance based works in The Coming World (Sun Yuan & Pengyu, Hayden Fowler, Mella Jaarsma) is an attempt to bring out a more lived and felt experience of the world in relation to new notions of the ‘natural.’

 

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

ARTISTS

Kim Abeles, Doug Aitken, John Akomfrah, Allora & Calzadilla, Maurizio Cattelan, Le Corbusier, Critical Art Ensemble, Driessens & Verstappen, Karel Dujardin, Max Ernst, James Ferraro, gruppe finger, Bill Fontana, Hayden Fowler, Gints Gabrāns, Gnezdo (Nest) group, Hans Haacke, House Plant Theater, Huang Yong Ping, Mella Jaarsma, Helge Jordheim, Sergei Kishchenko, Lawrence Lek, Mikhail Matyushin, Eadweard Muybridge, Numen/For Use group, Alexander Obrazumov, Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Patricia Piccinini, Sascha Pohflepp, Anastasia Potemkina, Laure Prouvost, Jon Rafman, Rimini Protokoll, Pamela Rosenkranz, Martha Rosler, Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti, Salomon van Ruysdael, Tita Salina, Tomás Saraceno, Gerry Schum, Susan Schuppli, Allan Sekula, Denis Sinyakov, Victor Skersis, Studio Drift, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Elin Már Øyen Vister, Ben Woodard, Wooloo, Tori Wrånes.

[Continued from The Coming World / Part I]

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100
June 28 – December 1, 2019 / Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
Curated by Snejana Krasteva and Ekaterina Lazareva
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