Until April the 4th, ADN Platform, in collaboration with CDAN, Centro de Arte y Naturaleza de Huesca, presents the group exhibition Fingers Crossed. Now, Yesterday and perhaps Tomorrow, curated by Sue Spaid and Blanca de la Torre.Artists always have proven to be great futurists. Long before scientists had the technology to explore distant galaxies, artists were illustrating space travel, alien invasions, and extraterrestrial life. In light of the recent United Nations IPCC reports (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that says we must drastically reduce carbon emissions by 2030, we earthlings find ourselves at a crossroads. Problem is, colonizing Mars by 2030 sounds far sexier than tackling Earth’s emergencies like the plastic vortex, rising seas, desertification, loss of biodiversity and even space junk.
Fingers Crossed explores these two options: staying the course by enacting a planetary Green New Deal or riding the rocket with SpaceX, Blue Origin or those whose Mars settlements were abruptly aborted by Mars One’s recent bankruptcy. Even better, the curators organized Fingers Crossed to showcase sustainable curating (ecological and reused materials, no flights, minimal shipping, recyclable wall texts/posters, and paying attention to the carbon footprint).Divided into three sections, Fingers Crossed explores imaginative efforts by earlier artists who jumpstarted environmental awareness, practical actions by contemporary artists who are fighting environmental degradation from different angles, and some more technological visions that inspire the imagination around these issues.Like scientists, today’s artists either attempt to turn back time or teach us how to adapt to irreversible changes. Issues explored include atmospheric pollution, global warming, natural resource exploitation, nature and indigenous peoples’ rights, water issues, land reclamation, biodiversity loss, post-apocalyptic terrains, and untold futures. Fingers Crossed features local demonstrations, participatory art, installations, videos and photographs by over 20 artists.
The cluster Now features projects that highlight current environmental concerns, such as invasive plants (Jean-François Paquay), dying coral reefs (Diane Burko / Anna Tas), degraded land or water sources (Vera Thaens), sea-level rise (Amy Balkin, Søren Dahlgaard, Mary Mattingly), indigenous peoples’ rights (Marie Velardi), extreme weather (Annechien Meier / Gert-Jan Gerlach), industrialization and privatization of rivers (Carolina Caycedo) and saltmarsh conservation (Esteve Subirah).On the other hand, Yesterday focuses on artists’ original attempts to reduce environmental degradation by: adding green space to absorb rainfall (Teresa Murak), cleaning waterways (Nicolás García Uriburu), planting trees to cool cities and refresh air (Joseph Beuys), preserving natural landscapes (Björk, Robert Rauschenberg), improving people’s tidal awareness (Jan Dibbets) and connecting land reclamation to enhanced biodiversity (Esteve Subirah).Finally, Tomorrow explores artists anticipating future scenarios such as unbreathable air (Buckminster Fuller, Ant Farm), uninhabitable Earth (Buckminster Fuller, Blue Origin, SpaceX), abandoned oil platforms (Marcos Luytens), displacement of the coastline (Marie Velardi), the “future” itself (Mariana Pestaña / Rory Hyde, “Op Eds from the Future”) and the fine line separating utopia from dystopia (Anna Moreno). We liked, in particular, Elena Lavellés’s work about the end of fossil fuels.Artists and projects documentation: Amy Balkin · Joseph Beuys · Björk · Blue Origin · Diane Burko / Anna Tas · Carolina Caycedo · Søren Dahlgaard · Jan Dibbets · Ant Farm · Buckminster Fuller · Nicolás García Uriburu · Elena Lavellés · Marcos Lutyens · Mary Mattingly · Annechien Meier / Gert-Jan Gerlach · Anna Moreno · Teresa Murak · “Op Eds from the Future” (New York Times) · Jean-François Paquay · Mariana Pestaña / Rory Hyde · Robert Rauschenberg · SpaceX · Esteve Subirah · Vera Thaens · Marie Velardi · Pep Vidal