Exhibition title: Down to Earth
Curating: Blanca de la Torre and Zoran Erić
Dates: 07.10.2022 to 29.01.2023
Place: CAAM – Los Balcones 11. Plantas -1, 0, 1 y 2. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Down to Earth (Con los pies en la Tierra) seeks to explore the complexity of the ecological problematics connected to the current state of late capitalism, through realms like the struggle for indigenous sovereignty, gender equality, resistance to different kinds of extractivisms, land and water exploitation, and the legacy of colonialism and economic neocolonial strategies. We have to embrace the potential for resistance to all forms for environmental justice and propose an interconnected approach between visual arts and the newly opened eco-political spaces that are challenging the trinomy of Capitalism, Patriarchy and Colonialism.
This exhibition is conceived as the second part of a broader project, which had the first phase in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade (MoCAB), after three-year-long research. Under the title Overview Effect, it was referring to the concept coined by Frank White, that described the cognitive shift reported by a number of astronauts having looked back from Space to Earth. We took it as a metaphor to show the encompassing view needed to understand all aspects of the global eco-social crisis in a moment where we are surpassing the biocapacity of the Earth. In this second part, the new exhibition at CAAM, titled in Spanish Con los pies en la Tierra we decided to shift the focus “down to earth”, with an earthbound approach to the environmental issues, showing how this “all the way around” position brings us, at the end of the day, to the same views of interconnectedness and ecodependency. Moreover, we have to consider that the word tierra is a homonym in the Spanish language, meaning both the planet Earth and the soil.
The “mirroring” of these two perspectives would give deeper insight and tackle the discourse of environmental justice, as a result of a large project that involved a series of workshops, lectures, panel discussions, encounters with activists, and theoretical events.
The curatorial strategy explores alternative formats, responding to the rhizomatic idea of Eco_Labs: think-thanks for art, action, and knowledge exchanges that allowed us to discuss environmental justice from a whole myriad of perspectives and find layers of global interconnections.
— GENDER, RACE AND THE COLONIAL TRACE
Explores the inextricable relationship between the current debates concerning the ecological emergency and the different forms of inequality interlinked with race, gender and the colonial and neocolonial dynamics.
Points out to water-related problematics that are already generating major imbalances like water scarcity, pollution, availability of drinking water, sea level rise, ocean acidification, privatization, drying up of wells and aquifers, the loss of flow of rivers and lakes and the depletion of groundwater, etc.
— THERE IS NO EDGE!
Examines multiple forms of environmental damages such as loss of biodiversity, deforestation, massive extinctions, different forms of pollution, use of pesticides and fertilizers, food crisis, overexploitation of fishing, decrease in pollinators, politics of extractivism and neoextractivism, and other issues that show that we are going beyond the biocapacity of the Earth.
— LEARNING FROM INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE
Opens up spaces for indigenous discursivity and epistemologies that are put in dialogue with current Western-centered systems of knowledge. It appeals to the need to foster new social and aesthetic practices that go beyond the modern Western system of thought and embrace other epistemologies based on, or inspired by, indigenous and First Nation people, to open a path of resistance against forms of extractivisms.
— BEYOND ANTHROPOCENTRISM
Develops the criticality of dualisms that assume an inside and outside of nature, creating symbolic and practical gestures to move towards new alliances with non-human entities acknowledging the critical importance of interspecies dependencies.
— BACK TO THE FUTURE
Reflects on the concept of “future” by connecting the past, the present, and the alternatives for the approaching times of uncertainty. In order to do so, it is necessary to find the means with which to renegotiate collective memory and the possibility of future memories, as well as to construct utopian and dystopian imaginaries to rethink the world we want to inhabit.
Our goal was to develop an exhibition that speaks of ecology in content, form, and attitude. In the first part of the project developed in Belgrade, a number of guidelines were established in order to apply environmental practices and take care of the ecological footprint of the whole exhibition, embracing a “cradle to cradle” and circular economy philosophy. We kept in mind that it is not only the carbon footprint but the rest of the ecological footprints (hydric, etc.), and other sustainability issues that are not necessarily so visible in the materialization of the project.
For the exhibition in CAAM we decided to take upon a more radical decision: to refuse any short sort of shipping of artworks in favour of 100% local production, while in Belgrade we avoided air shipping, favouring local production + ground transportation. On this occasion all the works were created onsite, avoiding pollutants and petrol-derived materials, favouring local production or re-production of works, materials from the context using biodegradable, reused, repurposed, and recycled materials.
Ravi Agarwal / Amy Balkin / Luna Bengoechea Peña / Ursula Biemann / Saskia Calderón / Javier Camarasa / Tania Candiani / Tomas Colbengtson / Teresa Correa / Acaymo S. Cuesta & Branislav Nikolić / Mark Dion / Olafur Eliasson / Tue Greenfort / Gloria Godínez / Lungiswa Gqunta / Igor Grubić / Tea Mäkipää / Marija Marković / Mary Mattingly / Ana Mendieta / Santiago Morilla / Michael Najjar / Fernando Palma / pluriversal radio / PSJM (Cynthia Viera & Pablo San José) / Nikola Radić Lucati / Tabita Rezaire / pablo sanz / Zina Saro-Wiwa / Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle / Robertina Šebjanič & Gjino Šutić / Theresa Traore Dahlberg / Tanja Vujinović / Juan Zamora / Bo Zheng