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110. BACK TO THE LAND

The exhibition, open until February 4th 2017 at Studio la Città in Verona, is a project involving 7 international artists called to reflect on the role of contemporary art within the ecocriticism and the ecological problems of the Anthropocene Era.

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda a cura di ecologia

Back to the Land, installation view, Studio la Città, Verona, 2016. Photo credit: Michele Alberto Sereni, courtesy Studio la Città, Verona


The Back to the Land project that Studio la Città is presenting in its rooms in Verona, is not simply an exhibition but a further step along a virtual path that for some time, at a global level, has singled out contemporary art as a tool for bringing to the fore ecological questions and for stimulating environmental ideas. This is a “visceral” mo- vement in which Italy has for some time been a protagonist, building on a heredity that, with such movements as Arte Povera, has since the 1960s created a basis for current artistic experiences.
We are obliged to take into account some important shows which, over the past two years, have highlighted these themes: first of all the programme of PAV, Turin, curated by Marco Scotini with the shows La Tenda Verde (Da- sGrüneZelt). Joseph Beuys e il concetto ampliato di ecologia; WILD ENERGIES: persone in movimento; ecologEAST. Arte e Natura al di là del Muro; and Earthrise. Visioni pre-ecologiche nell’arte italiana (1967-73). MAN in Nuoro, too, thanks to the sensibility of Lorenzo Giusti, has recently presented the work of Michel Blazy, Roman Signer, and Ettore Favini, while MART has organised the show Nature. Arte e Ecologia at the Galleria Civica, Trento.
In Turin again, and perhaps not by chance, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev decided to start with the show Organismi. Dall’Art Nouveau di ÉmileGallé alla Bioarchitettura; the Fondazione Merz has presented Mario Merz. La natura e l’equilibrio, while in Villa Panza di Biumo there has been organised a magnificent tribute to Meg Webster and Roxy Paine titled Natura Naturans.

The need to gain a distance from the frenetic rhythms of contemporary reality, of finding once again an equal relationship with the natural environment, and to expand ecological and eco-critical awareness, is certainly not a recent idea. Already on the cusp of the 1960s and 1970s in America the “Back to the Land” social movement gained a great number of supporters who promoted a rural lifestyle that was the antithesis of traditional society, ill and corrupt as it was seen to be.
Even earlier, Henry Thoreau and Hermann Hesse physically experienced nature, later publishing works that be- came genuine benchmarks. Again in America, over the past two centuries there has been established a literary tradition based on this theme, a tradition employed as a fundamental tool for the diffusion of an integrated evo- lutionary strategy with the aim of proposing an increased awareness of the man/nature interaction. Such authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Darwin, George Parkis March, Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson are just some of those who have sparked off an eco-critical debate, one that today is more than ever up-to-date and pressing.

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda a cura di ecologia1 back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda andreco arte ecologia back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda andreco arte ecologia

Back to the Land, installation view, Studio la Città, Verona, 2016. Photo credit: Michele Alberto Sereni, courtesy Studio la Città, Verona


This great global ferment, stimulated by a situation of perpetual danger, and of which we have recently had a confirmation following the latest official warning by the UN about the level of greenhouse gas emissions, is a reaction against the Western anthropocentric tradition for which humanity, with its reason and personality, has been considered the only depository of moral law: the symptom of a malaise that for some time art has been trying to develop and which artists, as actors and interpreters, have approached in a creative and often non-scientific manner by exploiting the codes and languages that might narrate important problems in innovative and untraditional ways.
The Back to the Land show intends, through the work of seven young and internationally-known artists, to be a part of this extremely complex and delicate panorama. Even though neither aiming at being an overt condemnation nor being the occasion for trumpeting the nth sad list of ecological events and disasters, Back to the Land aims at reflecting on the importance of human gestures, on the sense of responsibility and power that the language of contemporary art can have in this context. Through different formal approaches, the seven artists invited show expressive methods and languages that are able, each in their own way, to recount a common attention to environmental questions and the problems of nature today.
At the heart of these reflections are the codes that art uses for inquiring, narrating, and presenting at a formal level works that derive from an analysis of wider themes and the even more pressing problems that involve all of us. A reflection of an ethical and moral nature is common to all the works in the show, in the hope that the message they convey is not exclusively perceived as a negative one. The poetical dimension of nature, the earth’s ancestral power, and the deep forces that unite us to it, must be what impels us to see art as an opportunity within a wider and more varied design, one in which the sacredness of a respectful relationship becomes a reality rather than a perpetual premonition. (A.L.)



> ANDRECO

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda andreco arte ecologia2

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda andreco

In order: Andreco, installation view of the works included in the show Back to the Land, Studio la Città, Verona, 2016; Melting and Falling, 2016, wall painting, site specific project on the external wall of the gallery. Photo credit: Michele Alberto Sereni, courtesy Studio la Città, Verona.

An environmental engineer by training and an artist by vocation, Andreco fuses these two elements together in a work that is backed by a solid scientific basis. A continuous raising of CO2 levels in the atmosphere, climatic changes, exasperated overbuilding, the melting of glaciers: the “invasion” of humanity is for Andreco the main cause of environmental damage. For the show the artist has created a large-scale wall painting, part of the recent Climate 01 project proposed in Paris on the occasion of the COP2–Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015, and later in Bologna in 2016. A large totemic figure, inspired by natural material and its clear-cut, mineral but always unexpected aesthetic, is at the centre of the show. Thanks also to the presence of drawing, sculpture and painting, the artist’s intervention becomes a huge evocative presence that, in a dialogue with a second site-specific intervention realised on the outside of the building, accompanies the viewers along a journey of discovery and of analysis of current environmental problems. (Andrea Lerda)


> CRISTIAN CHIRONI

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda cristian chironi

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda cristian chironi cutter

In order: Cristian Chironi, exhibition view - selection of books which are part of the Cutter serie, 2010 - 2016; exhibition view (left), DATA (Farfalle d'italia), 2011-2012, paper, glue 3M Re-Mount, plexiglass, 3 elements, 60 x 60 cm each, detail, (right). Photo credit: Michele Alberto Sereni, courtesy the artist and Studio la Città, Verona.

What Cristian Chironi presents, instead, is the final result of a refined process of “subtraction”. In the books that make up the Cutter series, realised from 2010 onwards, the artist has in fact cut from maps, herbals, and various books, portions of images related to the numerous species of flora and fauna whose existence is in danger or irremediably compromised. What I find extremely interesting in these works, apart from the attempt to underline a genuine problem, is his ability to give form to emptiness. We are faced with the formalisation of an absence, of the reconfiguration of the bases on which stand natural balances. This direct and “surgical” action is also emblematic of the constant interaction between humanity and nature. In the process of removal and recomposition, Chironi highlights just how much, at a practical level, happens every day in the real world where the discrepancy between the biosphere and the anthroposphere is increasingly marked and fragmented. (Andrea Lerda)


> NEHA CHOKSI

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda neha choksi Green Found

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda neha choksi Green Found video

Neha Choksi, Found Green, 2006, video, 13 min, courtesy Neha Choksi and Project88

Neha Choksi is taking part in the project with the video Found Green, 2006, a beautiful work that reflects on the phenomena of the uncontrolled and atrocious urbanisation of Mumbai, one of the most highly populated cities in the world. Here the present literally has razed the past to the ground, and on it there have been raised new neighbourhoods, houses, and hovels. There is now traffic where a park once was, and the same has happened for what were once open spaces, now taken over by markets. "Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay", we read on the map for the redevelopment of green city spaces planned for the twenty-year period of 1981-2001 in Mumbai’s “E” district. A plan that was never completed because it had to face the reality of a continually expanding megalopolis inside which no recreational areas can be permitted, far less any green areas. In Found Green, 2006, a nostalgic boy tours the alleys of the neighbourhood, interacting with presences that have by now disappeared or that never existed. During his walk, as though guided by a supernatural presence, he becomes the spokesman for a message that has all the feeling of a reproach. (Andrea Lerda)


> ANDREA NACCIARRITI

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda andrea nacciarriti

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda andrea nacciarriti navi vergogna

In order: Andrea Nacciarriti, Lottinge 1956, 2013, c-print on dibond, brown packing tape , 125 x 200 cm, photo credit Giovanni Ghiandoni, courtesy Franco Soffiantino Contemporary Art Productions; exhibition view at Studio la Città, Verona, 2016, photo credit Michele Alberto Sereni, courtesy Franco Soffiantino Contemporary Art Productions; T102, 2013, driftwood, plastic glass, water, 60 x 50 x 100 cm, detail, photo credit Giovanni Ghiandoni, courtesy Franco Soffiantino Contemporary Art Productions

The work by Andrea Nacciarriti, instead, is centred on what Riccardo Bocca has called “ships of shame”. A murky and clandestine system for dumping dangerous, and so “inconvenient”, waste in the Mediterranean Sea, and which for decades has been dominated by political power, the Mafia, and helped by the indifference of the media. This is a phenomenon that Nacciarriti aims to analyse, quite apart from its ecological implications, by reflecting on the role of language and of a public opinion that, together with the media world, is all too often guilty of not looking attentively at what is happening in daily life. (Andrea Lerda)


> GIORGIA SEVERI

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda giorgia severi

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda giorgia severi video

In order: Giorgia Severi: (left) Restoring The World – CURA #1, 2013, wood, plaster, concrete, paraloid, 43 x 23 x 20 cm; (right) Restoring The World – WHAT REMAINS OF A FOREST, 2012, pigmental print on archival matte paper, 40 x 60 cm; ARSA, 2013, two channels video installation, 15 min, a film in collaboration with Daniele Pezzi and Giovanni Lami, photo credit Michele Alberto Sereni, courtesy the artist.

As part of a research into the memory of landscape, which she has been conducting for some years by now, Giorgia Severi, instead, is presenting Restoring the World. The work was begun after the arson attack that, in July 2012, was aimed at the Ortazzo and Ortazzino nature parks, part of the Po Delta nature reserve, on the Lido di Dante in Ravenna. By meditating on the sense of responsibility that John Passmore discussed in his book Man’s responsibility for Nature, published in 1974, the artist has created a cogent work consisting of drawing, photography, video, and sculpture. A project that, in its complexity, becomes a shamanic rite, one of purification, but at the same time a genuine act of “restoration” that asks humanity to reconnect with the most ancestral forces of nature and its own culture. (Andrea Lerda)


> FRANCESCO SIMETI

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda francesco simeti

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda francesco simeti carta parati

Francesco Simeti, installation view. Photo credit: Michele Alberto Sereni, courtesy Francesca Minini, Milano

It is inevitable that man must cohabit with the surrounding environment. The inseparability of this relationship is the basis of a large section of the art of Francesco Simeti, from some time interested in the ambiguous and contradictory dynamics that exist between these two entities. Starting from some illustrations, mostly taken from the book Picturesque America, written in 1872 by William Cullen Bryant, Simeti has realised an environmental work in which the sublime fascination of the untamed landscape is mixed with figurative allusions to the “civilised” world. In the nature proposed by this artist, what predominates is grey, which we are by now surfeited with, and on which we “depend”. Here and there acidic-coloured clouds might lead us to think of something extremely dangerous, but at times the sky seems to be serene and the wan colours leave space for a hyper-coloured nature, one that is unexpectedly alive. A personal analysis that, despite everything, alludes to possible positive outcomes. (Andrea Lerda)


> JULIUS VON BISMARCK

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda julius von bismarck painting landscape

back to the land mostra studio la citt verona andrea lerda julius von bismarck

Julius von Bismarck, Landscape Painting (Desert), 2015 video HD, 23 min, courtesy the artist and Alexander Levy Gallery

And finally the work by Julius Von Bismarck which is perhaps the most provocative intervention of all. The video Painting Landscape (Desert) records an invasive action that damages the environment. The artist has physically intervened in some parts of the Mexican landscape and has “cancelled” them in the real sense of the word. Julius Von Bismarck asked some local people to paint plants, cactuses, and rocks white, in order then to bring them back to their original colouring with a second layer of paint.
This is an intervention at the limits of what is legitimate, arousing thoughts of a moral kind, and bringing to mind some of American Land Art’s environmental actions, which at the time were at the heart of a lively and controversial debate about their ethics. Andrea Lerda



BACK TO THE LAND
Andreco, Cristian Chironi, Neha Choksi, Andrea Nacciarriti, Giorgia Severi, Francesco Simeti, Julius Von Bismarck
curated by Andrea Lerda
with a contribute in the catalogue by Serenella Iovino, one of the most important voices of the International Ecocriticim and Professor of Comparative Literature at the Turin University
Studio la CIttà / Verona
Until February 4th 2017

109. ORIZZONTI

“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon” (Konrad Adenauer)

Orizzonti Vistamare galleria PescaraMimmo Jodice Armin Linke Darren Almond Mario Air Bethan Huws Man Ray Linda Fregni Nagler Luigi Ghirri Mario Giacomelli 2

Armin Linke, Restaurant view, Cairo Egypt, 2006, stampa fotografica su alluminio con cornice in legno, cm 150 x 300, crediti fotografici: Giorgio Benni, courtesy Vistamare, Pescara


As a project “Orizzonti” originates in a desire to collaborate on a visual, personal and conceptual level – a collaboration in which each artist reflects on the work of the others, generating an extraordinary creative synergy. Despite their diverse sensibilities, all of the works on show reveal a common viewpoint, a gaze turned to consider the line that man has always identified as “the apparent meeting point of earth and sky”. The horizon is a fascinating theme much debated by the great thinkers of the past. The thin line that visibly divides and connects earth, sea and sky and thus reunites the elemental substances of our life on Earth has been a subject of reflection for astronomers, philosophers, mathematicians, poets and sailors. The artists exhibiting have also turned their gaze to this line (in reality a curve) in an attempt to describe and to reveal to others the overwhelming connection between finite and infinite, and a very human desire to reconnect with the absolute which on a visual level translates into a simple borderline.

Orizzonti Vistamare galleria PescaraMimmo Jodice Armin Linke Darren Almond Mario Air Bethan Huws Man Ray Linda Fregni Nagler Luigi Ghirri Mario Giacomelli

Bethan Huws, installation view, photo credit: Giorgio Benni, Courtesy Vistamare, Pescara


The show features works by the great Italian photographer Mimmo Jodice (Naples, 1934), from two of his long career’s landmark series, Marelux and le Attese. In both the Neapolitan master explores the line of the horizon, employing a black and white formed of a multitude of greys and turning his gaze alternately to the sea and to static images that recall the voids and the sense of frozen movement typical of De Chirico’s metaphysical works. The two large works by Armin Linke (Milan, 1966) scan the horizon in order to underline its imposing physicality (as is the case with the expanses of ice and snow in Ice pack), but also the presence of man and the ambiguous relationship that humanity establishes with the inhabited environment, permanently modifying its natural profile. In the photographs of Darren Almond (Wigan, 1971) poetry encounters the conceptual. With their vivid streaks of light, his landscapes possess a spectral quality that reveals a very contemporary sense of uneasiness which in its air of mystery offers echoes of Leopardi’s poem “L’infinito”. The horizons presented by Mario Airò (Pavia, 1961) and Bethan Huws (Bangor, 1961) – whose art utilizes diverse media and evolves in multiple directions – perfectly encapsulate the paths that both artists’ careers have taken: in Airò through the image of strings of light that reknot our broken ties with nature, and in the work of Huws once again revealing the profoundly poetic essence of the artist’s continuous study of her own rural origins and of images that play with non-sense. With their typically acerbic Dadaist provocativeness, the works of Man Ray (Philadelphia, 1890 – Paris, 1976) reveal another form of horizon, very different from the geographical variety; a horizon formed of female silhouettes – human outlines that resemble gentle hills, in a game of unsettling cross-references.

Orizzonti Vistamare galleria PescaraMimmo Jodice Armin Linke Darren Almond Mario Air Bethan Huws Man Ray Linda Fregni Nagler Luigi Ghirri Mario Giacomelli 1

Orizzonti Vistamare galleria PescaraMimmo Jodice Armin Linke Darren Almond Mario Air Bethan Huws Man Ray Linda Fregni Nagler Luigi Ghirri Mario Giacomelli 5

In order: exhibition view, Linda Fregni Nagler, Fujiyama from Hanoke Lake, 2016, hand tinted gelatin silver print, cm 20,8 x 27,4; Luigi Ghirri, Versailles, 1985, chromogenic from negative, 6 x 7, cm 20 x 25, with frame cm 35,4 x 40,6, photo credit: Giorgio Benni; courtesy Vistamare, Pescara


With their soft pastels the photos from Luigi Ghirri’s (Scandiano, 1943 – Roncocesi, 1992) Versailles series resemble the picture postcards fashionable several decades ago; here the line of the horizon is entangled and merges with a play on perspective created by the lines of force offered by the lavish French architecture. With its references to the experience and processes of printing, the clarity and dazzling contrast of the black and white of another great Italian photographer, Mario Giacomelli (Senigallia, 1925 – 2000) conveys the artist’s constant yearning for the infinite, expressed in verse and in landscapes in which places are transformed into poetic and abstract images. The work of Linda Fregni Nagler (Stockholm, 1976) explores photography with a critical eye that focuses on a re-reading of history. In collecting old and anonymous images her photos reflect a desire to establish new relationships with the past, offering a renewed and energizing interpretation.
The theme of the horizon is explored and reconsidered in the over 20 works on show, at times with an intimate and poetic spirit, at others with the powerful impact of anthropological and geopolitical investigations, resurrected and renewed in the myriad facets of the personal horizons of each artist.

Orizzonti Vistamare galleria PescaraMimmo Jodice Armin Linke Darren Almond Mario Air Bethan Huws Man Ray Linda Fregni Nagler Luigi Ghirri Mario Giacomelli 3

Orizzonti Vistamare galleria PescaraMimmo Jodice Armin Linke Darren Almond Mario Air Bethan Huws Man Ray Linda Fregni Nagler Luigi Ghirri Mario Giacomelli 4

In order: exhibition view; Mario Giacomelli, installation view, photo credit: Giorgio Benni, courtesy Vistamare, Pescara

 

ORIZZONTI
Mario Airò, Darren Almond, Linda Yasmine Fregni Nagler, Luigi Ghirri, Mario Giacomelli, Bethan Huws, Mimmo Jodice, Armin Linke, Man Ray
Vistamare / Pescara
Until 14.01.2017

PROPOSAL #14 ENZO CALIBE'

A LANDSCAPE IS A LANDSCAPE IS A LANDSCAPE

by Stefano Taccone

Enzo Calib artista    galleria E23 Napoli paesaggio landscape stefano taccone


For Enzo Calibè there is no distinction between art and life, albeit in a very different sense than the art/life continuity the avantgarde movements have alluded to. It all arises from a profound love for nature in its entirety and all its species, from the intuition of being, as human, an integral part of it, and also from an equally deep creative drive, an attitude which while on one hand adds itself to nature - it is so, according to Van Gogh, that art is born - on the other hand nevertheless originates from it. It also arises here, though, a severe feeling of discouragement and turmoil coming from the realisation that human beings themselves - no one excluded, even the artist, the curator or the gallerist - are nowadays caught up in a mechanism which rapes and plunders the biosphere and which is already turning up against them. The same linguistic and communicational paraphernalia with which, over the past few decades, ecology has tried to challenge the destructive potential of an unsustainable model of development appears today completely subsumed by the marketing gurus, who came up with the "impossible green capitalism” (Daniel Tanuro).

Enzo Calib artista    galleria E23 Napoli paesaggio landscape02 stefano taccone

Enzo Calib artista galleria E23 Napoli paesaggio landscape01 stefano taccone

For Enzo the combination between an ethical-environmental and creative-aesthetical sensitivity has been turning, for several years now, into a counterdiscourse which strives to be able to sabotage this spell, all too consolatory in its problematic prospect of being "ecologically correct" while keeping the same old lifestyle. By employing different media and artistic techniques, his investigations show how the image of the natural landscape is nowadays an essential element in advertising and communicational strategies and how, through this process, nature itself ends up becoming a mere sign stripped of any content. Real nature - that which can be felt and smelled because it has texture and fragrance, and which is not just only an image to be contemplated upon - has therefore baudrillardly disappeared due to hyperproduction of its mediated images, images which possess the same (non) truth as that of green economy's great postmodern narration.

Enzo Calib artista  - galleria E23 Napoli paesaggio landscape05 stefano taccone Enzo Calib artista  - galleria E23 Napoli paesaggio landscape06 stefano taccone Enzo Calib artista  - galleria E23 Napoli paesaggio landscape07 stefano taccone
 

For all images: courtesy the artist
This news was published in the context of spontaneous reports that come to Platform Green. For more information about the sending process of your project or work, please, go to the "Contacts" or “About” area.

108. ALLORA & CALZADILLA

the great silence

AlloraCalzadilla the great silence quartz studio torino video Ted Chiang1


"The humans use Arecibo to look for extraterrestrial intelligence. Their desire to make a connection is so strong that they’ve created an ear capable of hearing across the universe.
But I and my fellow parrots are right here. Why aren’t they interested in listening to our voices?
We’re a non-human species capable of communicating with them. Aren’t we exactly what humans are looking for?"

With these words begins the narration by Ted Chiang, that was written for the video The Great Silence by Allora & Calzadilla.
Only one work, but extremely powerful and immersive, that Quartz Studio has decided to present in its Turin space.
The Puerto Rico-based artists, have made a single canne version of their acclaimed three channel video installation The Great Silence (2014).
Presented for the first time in 2014 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, focuses on the world’s largest single aperture radio telescope, located in Esperanza (Hope), Puerto Rico, which transmits and captures radio waves to and from the farthest edges of the universe. The site of the Arecibo Observatory is also home to the last remaining wild population of critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrots, Amazona vittata, who make their habitat in the surrounding Rio Abajo forest.

AlloraCalzadilla the great silence quartz studio torino video Ted Chiang6

AlloraCalzadilla the great silence quartz studio torino video Ted Chiang


The paradox represented by this huge telescope takes on a disturbing significance, which is more significant thanks to its impressive presence.
A big totem to the human desire for discovery, the desire to go beyond the Earth boundaries, squeaking in an emblematic way with delicate and minute nature of the creatures that inhabit the surrounding forest
Allora & Calzadilla collaborated with science fiction author Ted Chiang on a subtitled script that explores translation as a device to trace and ponder the irreducible gaps between living, nonliving, human, animal, technological, and cosmic actors. In the spirit of a fable, the subtitled story presents the bird’s observations on humans’ search for life outside this planet, while using the concept of vocal learning- something that both parrots and humans, and few other species have in common- as a source of reflection upon acousmatic voices, ventriloquisms, and the vibrations that form the basis of speech and the universe itself.
Through a structure which is poetic and disquieting at the same time, the video raises very important questions that touch on important issues such as the human power, the sense of the universe and life, the role of technology and morality.

AlloraCalzadilla the great silence quartz studio torino video Ted Chiang3

AlloraCalzadilla the great silence quartz studio torino video Ted Chiang5

AlloraCalzadilla the great silence quartz studio torino video Ted Chiang4

*For all images: courtesy the artists and Quartz Studio, Turin
 

ALLORA & CALZADILLA
The Great Silence
in collaboration with Ted Chiang
Quartz Studio / Turin
Until 7.01.17

107. JOSEPH BEUYS

The Green Tent (Das Grüne Zelt)

The Green Tent (Das Grüne Zelt,) curated by Marco Scotini, place itself as the third chapter of an ideal trilogy, finishing the cycle of exhibitions with which the PAV intended to reconstruct a possible genealogy of the relationship between the artistic practices and the ecological conscience during the 1970s in Europe.

joseph beuys pav torino marco scotini tenda verde ecologia3

After the exhibitions Earthrise (2015) and ecologEast (2016), this project will focus on the activity of one of the most recognized artists from the second half of the last century: Joseph Beuys, putting a particular emphasis on his involvement with the political institutions and his response to the threats of environmental crisis.
The exhibition, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of Beuys’ death, wants to become a tribute to the author of the "social sculpture," within the institution founded by Piero Gilardi, who was the first to write about Beuys in Italy, as early as in 1967.
Despite the consistent amount of critical literature available about the German artist’s activity, only in rare circumstances can we find examples where the romantic and spiritual matrix of the word “nature” has been used in a political sense, using the term ecology. All this in spite of the fact that Beuys’ perspective was strongly militant in that direction, leading him to chair the constitution of the German Greens movement that saw him, even if for a short time, as a candidate for the parliament.

joseph beuys pav torino marco scotini tenda verde ecologia1

joseph beuys pav torino marco scotini tenda verde ecologia

Exhibition view at PAV, Turin, 2016

“In the future green tents will need to be raised everywhere all over the planet! They will be the incubators of a new society,” is the well-known Beuys’ appeal that in 1980 accompanied the birth of the Green Party. As a matter of fact a large green tent made its appearance on the morning of September 28, 1980 in Düsseldorf’s Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, opposite the Schauspielaus building, by Alvar Aalto. The tent set up by Beuys together with his collaborators is of help both as a real and as an ideal reference point—of meeting and organization—for the first Greens’ electoral campaign. During the autumn of 1980, Beuys was, in fact, a direct Greens’ candidate for the Bundestag elections together with Otto Schily, the ex-defence lawyer of the RAF and next Home Secretary. As it is well known, this proposal was destined to fail, just as it happened to his previous candidature with the German Greens had been for the European Parliament elections and for which Beuys conceived his renowned electoral poster The Invincible (Bei dieser Wahl). Despite Beuys’ immediate withdrawal from the political scene and the fundamental abstract nature of some of his positions, a crucial character such as Petra Kelly will continue to consider Beuys as the green ideologue (der grüne Vordenker). Furthermore, without this experience one of his main "social plastic" actions—the 1982 project 7000 Oaks—would not be imaginable.

In the exhibition, beyond this chapter, all those artistic operations that, starting from the early 1970s, saw the progressive consolidation of Beuys’ ecological awareness and that can’t be separated from an idea of environmental regeneration in a broader sense are presented. The action Űberwindet endlich die Parteienddiktatur (Overcome the dictatorship of the parties for once and for all) against the deforestation of a wooded area in Düsseldorf; Aktion im Moor (Action in the swamps) against the destruction of the hydro-geological equilibrium in Holland together with the operation Difesa della Natura (Defence of Nature) and the Fondazione per la rinascita dell’agricoltura (Foundation for the agriculture’s rebirth), just as many other interventions till the 7000 Oaks project, are the focus of this presentation.

joseph beuys pav torino marco scotini tenda verde ecologia2

joseph beuys pav torino marco scotini tenda verde ecologia4

joseph beuys pav torino marco scotini tenda verde ecologia5

Exhibition view at PAV, Turin, 2016



THE GREEN TENTE (DAS GRÜNE ZELT)
curated by Marco Scotini
PAV - Parco Arte Vivente / Turin
Until March 19, 2016

106. BEYOND LANDSCAPE

landscape visions of the Third millennium 

The exhibition, which was promoted by Platform Green and curated by Andrea Lerda is visible until October 29, 2016 at Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea in Milano. Sophie Ko, Petra Lindholm, Laura Pugno, Marco Strappato, Giorgia Severi, Cosimo Veneziano and Adéla Waldhauserová are the artists involved in the project.

The text by Andrea Lerda is an abstract from the catalogue of the exhibition

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov7

Adéla Waldhauserová, Landscape as the object of photography, mixed media, ambient-sized installation

In line with a well-established path of investigation focusing on landscape as a ‘topos’, the exhibition Beyond Landscape aims to present and keep track of the practice of seven young artists – both Italian and international – whose artistic research deals with the same issue.
The term “landscape” has always referred to a given fraction of the natural environment which, by convention, is clearly delimited and characterised by peculiar aesthetic and formal attributes. However, in the light of new critical approaches and debates, it could be argued instead that landscape is a mere mental construction which men have been imposing upon themselves over time.
On this basis, the Beyond Landscape project seeks to emphasise the complexity of defining exactly the boundaries of landscape, due to their constant evolution and their close relationship with the dynamics of the social, cultural and economic sphere.
Landscape, indeed, is both an indefinite and an indefinable place, yet recognisable in its “plural reality”(1) , a reality which Pier Paolo Pasolini extensively tried to describe and discuss in his movies and in his writing. A landscape which “is neither just nature nor just culture. Instead, it is the form of their stratifying and consolidating over the course of history”(2) , the stage on which culture, natural environment, mankind, political and economic power play their part. For this reason, the project is a pretext to go further, to raise reflections and considerations that are more extensive and articulated than the mere aesthetic or contemplative experience which has characterised this genre from the beginning.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov2 beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov3

 Beyond Landscape, installation view at Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea, Milan

Accordingly, landscape is considered here not just as an artistic typology but also as a tool of analysis, enriched with new values and in dialogue with the present time.
Crossing the limits as a way to create new landscapes is the concept Gerardo Mosquera illustrated in the catalogue for the exhibition Lost in landscape (Mart Museum, April 5 – August 31, 2014). Mosquera highlights how, depending on the approach adopted, “landscapes are able to change the way they communicate with us: they may be more ‘social’, ‘subjective’, ‘cultural’, ‘mystical’, ‘aesthetic’, and so on. Our subjectivity, experience, culture, ideology and social circumstances all influence the way we perceive, process and interpret landscapes”(3) .
The aesthetic experience of landscape – the natural one – in contemporary reality is often lived without a direct relationship with its object. The current generalised practice of using technological devices such as iPads and smartphones has given birth to surrogate landscapes, employed for a sole purpose: conveying captivating images able to capture the attention of millions of individuals identified as commercial users. Photography and video-making, therefore, after outmatching print media, have become the places where more and more often an intimate confrontation takes place between man and what is known as landscape with its values, its criticalities and the issues concerning it. This means that the same boundaries of landscape have deflagrated in a huge number of directions. Its modes of representation have inevitably changed and our need to express our relationship with it does not manifest itself through idyllic visions anymore, let alone through bucolic or faithful shots and portraits. The progressive departure of man from nature – and, at the same time, his constant and increasing quest for it, even when it is not possible – has brought about the corresponding commodification of landscape. A phenomenon which, through persuasion and rhetoric(4) , contributed to the emergence of what Michael Jakob labels “omnilandscape”(5) .

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov5

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov6

Marco Strappato, Untitled (Ground), 2015, cement, Portoro marble 10cm Ø, iPad, (looped video), variable size; Untitled (35-5), 2013, photographic print, page of a magazine, plastic film, spray paint, diptych, 40x60cm ca. each

This new condition probably derives from two specific sources: the first one is the moon landing, which in 1969 offered us the image of our planet seen from its only natural satellite: a “total hieroglyphic”(6) which encompasses all the possible landscapes. The second one is the advent of Internet, the global net which since its inception has enabled us to cancel all distances, allowing the access to every corner of the world through a simple monitor.
However, these are only two of the major changes which have led to the genesis of a new way to engage with landscape, to hear and to see what surrounds us. Starting from those historical moments, everything has developed according to a cause-and-effect principle, with unpredictable and extremely rapid outcomes.
How could we not take into account this? How could we not look at this bombing of digital images which permeates our everyday? Our way of seeing and of interacting with images inevitably influences the way we feel landscape. All issues relating to gaze cannot be kept out of the field of action of those artists who modify their way to create and to shape landscape and the entire world.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov8

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov9

Cosimo Veneziano, Il pallido contorno del sole, 2013-2014, Indian ink drawings on acetate and cotton paper, 50x60 cm each, iron bases, 140x120x40 cm each

With the complicity of the era he is living in, man takes refuge inside virtual worlds, often escaping from the authentic rediscovery of that primordial contact which, since the origin of the world, has caused him to be an integral part of nature and of landscape.
The complexity of providing a precise semantic definition of “landscape” – and of “nature” as well – once again highlights the fact that man, nature and landscape are nothing but the same thing. Furthermore, it encompasses the issue we began from, namely that it is no longer possible to identify and recognise this genre through clearly defined parameters.
In this respect, Beyond Landscape intends to highlight how the construction of the meaning of this term and genre – and at the same time its deconstruction – is an ongoing phenomenon. The works of the exhibited artists emphasise how the dimension of landscape is formalised through completely different modes than those representing its generally identifiable features.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov10

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov

Laura Pugno, Textures, 2016, mixed media, ambient-size installation

Beyond Landscape presents a select group of works which, in different ways, deconstruct the preconceived idea of landscape. The aesthetic experience offered to the viewer deviates from the habitual ways of presentation and representation. It rather follows formal solutions which hardly refer to what we are used to recognising and identifying as ‘landscape’: new narratives are suggested here in which there is no unity between vision and representation. The different mediums employed – sculpture, installation, photography, drawing and painting – together bring about an aesthetic outcome where, significantly, the object and the subject diverge from each other altogether. This last crucial point summarises the primary purpose of the show: namely, to talk about landscape without landscape. Because landscape lives somewhere else, it lies beyond any convention and is reshaped every instant by the passing of time as well as by the events which accumulate within our globalised world. A world now free from those spatial-temporal limits and mental barriers which formerly prevented thought from following hyperlinks and deflagrating in all possible directions.

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov4

beyond landscape mostra andrea lerda renata fabbri milano Petra Lindholm Laura Pugno Marco Strappato Giorgia Severi Sophie Ko Cosimo Veneziano Adla Waldhauserov1

In order: installation view, at the center the work by Giorgia Severi, Albedo, 2016, white geotextile cloth, 5x2,5x1,5 mt; Petra Lindholm, Sky Burial, 2015, seta, poliestere, getti d'inchiostro e pigmenti su legno, 49x68 cm; Falling into Sea, 2015, seta, poliestere, getti d'inchiostro e pigmenti su legno, 40,5x52,5

BEYOND LANDSCAPE
Sophie Ko, Petra Lindholm, Laura Pugno, Marco Strappato, Giorgia Severi, Cosimo Veneziano e Adéla Waldhauserová
curated by Andrea Lerda
Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea, Milano
Until October 29, 2016

(1) Serenella Iovino, Ecologia letteraria. Una strategia di sopravvivenza, Edizioni Ambiente, 2006, p.105.
(2) Ibid., p. 105.
(3) Gerardo Mosquera, Perduti nel paesaggio, exhibition catalogue, Mart 5 April - 31 August 2014, p. 23.
(4) The reference stems from the observation that, after long years of oblivion, rhetoric – applied to advertising – has been brought back as a powerful tool of persuasion. For a complete and thorough analysis see Annalisa Cattani, Pubblicità e retorica. Meccanismi argomentativi della persuasion, Lupetti Editore, 2009.
(5) Michael Jakob, Il paesaggio, Universale Paperbacks Il Mulino, Bologna, 2009, p. 7.
(6) Elena Re, Omaggio a Livio, in Paesaggi d’aria. Luigi Ghirri e Yona Friedman / Jean-Baptiste Decavèle, Quaderni del Fondo Luigi Ghirri, Corraini Edizioni, 2016. 

The total or partial reproduction of the text is absolutely not permitted in any form.  

105. UOVODESIGN

SUPERORGANISM

Bees and hive’s derivates are the starting point for a reflection on the expressive possibilities that the "superorganism" swarm can produce.

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uovo design simone benvenuto green design cera api sostenibilit 1

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uovo design simone benvenuto green design cera api sostenibilit

Wax, propolis, honey, are the materials used by Uovodesign to create an entire collection of objects with the aim to analize the hard work of these insects and the innate and creative power which is part of their DNA.
Uovodesign has thus developed specific systems to complete the action of the bees in the creation of objects, or parts of them.
This is what happened for example in the creation of glass ampoules which are destined for honey storage, closed and sealed by the bees themselves. A seal authentic, which is the result of the careful work of these extraordinary creatures, that combines practical needs, poetic strenght and aesthetic quality.
Starting from an accurate analysis of the organizational architecture of bees, their dynamics and production strategies, combining them with those of beekeeping companies, Superorganism puts in dialogue human action with that of nature, looking for a synergy and a meeting point that leads to a final commercial and seleable product.

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uovo design simone benvenuto green design cera api sostenibilit 5


For all images courtesy Simone Benvenuto - Uovodesign

PROPOSAL #13 GOLA HUNDUN

URBAN NATURES

gola hundun artist street art nature vegetation flowes plants public art3

Those of Gola Hundun are urban site specific interventions able to reshape geography and spaces of the places. Works with an organic taste whose subjects come evidently from the vegetal world. Colorful, multiform and luxuriant natures that are able to catch the attention, to intrigue and at the same time to raise important considerations. The art by Gola Hundun is located halfway between street art, social art and public art. Works with an immediate impact and a communicative power.

gola hundun artist street art nature vegetation flowes plants public art6

gola hundun artist street art nature vegetation flowes plants public art4

gola hundun artist street art nature vegetation flowes plants public art5

The research of the artist (which includes the direct use of natural elements as well as the use of video and canvas) highlights the constant relationship between humankind and the biosphere. The universes created by Gola Hundun are symbolic interpretations and allegorical lectures within which collapse influences from different worlds and cultures.
Installations, drawings, large-scale murals, but also performative actions and objects combine the attention to the painting gesture, the graphic design and the attention for the use of color and proportions. Artistic, social and private dimensions dialogue vigorously with educational intents which are at the base of the his work.

 

For all images, courtesy Gola Hundun
This news was published in the context of spontaneous reports that come to Platform Green. For more information about the sending process of your project or work, please, go to the "Contacts" or “About” area.

104. FRANCESCO SIMETI

NATURE IS SURVIVAL

francesco simeti  artista mostra francesca minini fiori piante natura2

Distichous, Corniculate, Runcinate, 2016, watercolour on paper, 45,5 x 30 cm each. Courtesy the artist and Francesca Minini Gallery, Milan

Mugwort, thornapple, goldenrod and poppy. Arise, children of the weedland, proletariat of the plant kingdom, and topple the thrones of the nobler horticultural flora, chop off their hypercivilized, hybridized heads. Gird yourselves and gallop out to overthrow the rose, queen of the garden. The Romantics and poets, Emerson and Thoreau, are with you. Gerard Manley Hopkins is singing, “Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet”! But then the gardener's hand swoops down—as maker, warden and judge of artificial landscapes—and the revolt is already quelled. A hoe to the roots and the weeds have been extirpated. Every garden tended by man is a failed coup-d’état, a foundered revolution.

Not this time, not in his recent show at Francesca Minini in Milano (Armed, Barbed and Halberd-Shaped, curated by Nicola Ricciardi, May-July 2016). The garden designed by Francesco Simeti has no room for roses: the victors on this battlefield are amaranth and nettle, burdock and nightshade. Worlds away from the West’s coveted utopia of tamed green spaces eternally in flower, where the bugs never bite and the leaves never sting. The landscape dreamed up by Simeti does not echo the reassuring repetitiveness of flowerbeds, the hierarchical order of botanical gardens, the geometric precision of tilled fields: it is not inspired by Monet’s flowery idylls, but rather by Charles Burchfield’s swamplands, unplowed meadows and abandoned lots.

francesco simeti  artista mostra francesca minini fiori piante natura7

francesco simeti  artista mostra francesca minini fiori piante natura8

Armed, Barbed and Halberd-Shaped, 2016. Installation view at Francesca Minini, Milan. Courtesy the artist and Francesca Minini Gallery, Milan

Simeti’s plants grow on plinths, cut through concrete like knife blades, climb over the masonry to cover entire walls. Their vitality, vehemence and sovereignty is celebrated, yet at the same time, seems negated: the materials they are made of are inorganic; their forms sculpted by the very hands they tend to fear, those of man. In this marsh-garden, where even the mist is manmade, photosynthesis has given way to lost-wax casting, to the kiln. The boundary between nature and culture dissipates like fog, everything is wild and everything is crafted.
Hence the first flash of insight: these bronze flowers, clay leaves and cloth shrubs proclaim the impossibility of imagining wild nature without human nature; from the loss of biodiversity to climate change, the ecosystem is itself an anthropic artifact. Some form of gardening is now considered inevitable even in oasis, sanctuaries and reserves—in the places we would preserve as monuments to our own absence. Simeti does not merely point out this paradox, but by sculpting his weeds like halberds, helmets, and shields, presents us with one more truth: however certain we may be that nature’s survival depends only on us, nature has proven capable of defending itself on its own. With every push or pull man has given to the biosphere, plants have always responded by sharpening their weapons, honing their agility, gearing up to survive our impact. What are weeds but an empirical demonstration of nature’s capability to withstand us? On the other hand, whether humans can adapt to the changes brought about by their own actions has yet to be seen. So who is more vulnerable and unarmed—Simeti seems to ask—who really needs to be defended: us or them?

francesco simeti  artista mostra francesca minini fiori piante natura5

francesco simeti  artista mostra francesca minini fiori piante natura4

francesco simeti  artista mostra francesca minini fiori piante natura

In order: Armed, Barbed and Halberd-Shaped, 2016. exhibition view at Francesca Minini, Milan; The wilds VI, 2015, Sodafire and glaze ceramic, 41 x 30 x 30 cm; The wilds V, 2016, woodfire ceramic, 38 x 20 x 21 cm. Courtesy the artist and Francesca Minini Gallery, Milan


A conversation with the artist

Andrea Lerda
Thanks to your last projetc titled “Armed, Barbed and Halberd-Shaped” which was presented at Francesca Minini Gallery in Milano, I understood that you declare the inseparability between man and nature and that you identify them as something unique.
Personally, I think that your assertion is something objective, despite the two worlds (which in fact do not exist) seem so distant from each other and despite the different opinion are discordant.
According to this approach, how do you justify the unequal relationship that exists between the two? How and where do you place the sense of responsibility?
Francesco Simeti
The big problem is that in fact this aspect is not at all obvious; man's attitude is not projected towards integration with nature and more often it happens that the man’s presence is opposed to taht of nature. Most people are not aware of how much their actions are closely related to the natural world they live. Each human action which is done on the environment is always an action done on itself. Strategically, it might be more important to reflect on the fact that we are destroying ourselves. This aspect could seems a cavil, but we continue to associate all the environmental problems to spot images such as the white bear disappearance, the death of the bees and so, without thinking about what might happen to us as a human species.

A.L.
Your work is deeply related to the organic and natural dimension, not necessarily according to environmental or ecological meanings. What is the reason for this research?
And where does the human need to maintain an ongoing dialogue with nature and the understandable comes from?
F.S.
The ecological aspect is not necessarily the dominant aspect but it is certainly an important part of my approach and work. I am not interested in presenting this theme in a pessimistic way or taking advantage from the disaster aesthetic; the nature that I portray is never openly devastated, even if it hidden inside some elements and very significant references from an eco critical approach.
In fact entering the work and observing it carefully, you can see that clearly something doesn’t work: some trees are about to die, other oppressed or already died.
I think that nature has the ability to revive all time and in any case and it has the innate capacity to regain new spaces, but if we continue this way, we will make this planet totally inhospitable to ourselves. Within this situation, the art certainly has the ability to spread educational messages. Me too, with my work I want to plant seeds that could represent a growth opportunity for a greater future ecological awareness.

francesco simeti  artista mostra francesca minini fiori piante natura1

In order: Billows V, 2015, ceramic,variable dimension; Black reef I, 2016, ceramic, 56 x 23 x 13 cm

103. SHOOSHIE SULAIMAN

MALAY MAWAR

When we see trees, we do not forget the forest, and when we see the forest, we do not forget the trees.

text by 
Jenniffa Hanum Dadameah

Shooshie Sulaiman artist exhibition kadist paris1

The work of Malaysian artist Shooshie Sulaiman develops in various forms, from site-specific installations and outdoor performances, to a daily practice of writing and drawing.
She started her artistic practice during the 1990’s, when Malaysia opened to the free market and became more international, not without psychological impact on its society. Thus, her work can be perceived as a precious testimony of what the country went through, an emotional landscape of what happened politically and socially during that time.
Next to writing and drawing, Shooshie Sulaiman practices gardening on a daily basis in Kuala Lumpur. In France, the tradition of gardening has turned it into a codified art, characterized by historical movements, which mirror the spirit of the times. How can an activity that she considered as natural as drinking water be celebrated as an art? Is an artist a gardener, or is a gardener an artist?

Shooshie Sulaiman artist exhibition kadist paris

Shooshie Sulaiman artist exhibition kadist paris

Shooshie Sulaiman artist exhibition kadist paris4

Wondering if a scientific experiment could be aesthetic, she started by creating a new rose, grafting two botanic species: a rose coming from the bush growing on her mother’s grave in Johor State, the other one from a farm nearby Paris. Given that earth is just earth, and biosciences can create and clone exotica, why would a Malay Mawar (“rose” in Malay) marrying a French Rose not be singularly original and successful?
In Kadist’s outdoor spaces, where the “marriage” took place, she has created not only a fusion, a bridge between two cultures, but a living exhibition which asks for care. In parallel, Shooshie Sulaiman involved participants in the dissemination of her drawings around Parisian gardens, a protocol that she calls Planting Drawings.
This research on gardening extends the framework of the exhibition itself, it nourishes a long-term project that the artist is developing with her community through the acquisition of a plot of land in the forest two and a half hours away from Kuala Lumpur—a vision of an ecosystem in which gardening could provide a living. can an aesthetic experiment define a model of sustainability in the long run?

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For all images: Shooshie Sulaiman “Malay Mawar” installation views at Kadist, Paris, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Kadist, Paris / San Francisco. Photo: A. Mole