(re)connecting.earth

art-werk

July 12, 2021
July 12, 2021
Berlin: June 10–September 25
Geneva: July 8–October 10

reconnecting.earth
Instagram / #reconnectingearth

Artists: Caroline Bachmann, Julian Charrière, Eli Cortiñas, Andreas Greiner & Takafumi Tsukamoto, Valérie Favre, David Horvitz, Bianca Kennedy & The Swan Collective, Fabian Knecht, Antje Majewski, Luzie Meyer, Regina de Miguel, Adrien Missika, Pfelder, Simone Zaugg, Zheng Bo 

Curated by Bernard Vienat

During summer 2021, the travelling exhibition (re)connecting.earth brings together newly realized commissioned works of 16 international artists in Berlin and Geneva. Therefore, 16 instructions are presented in the form of prints in public spaces, urban gardens and historical project spaces in both cities. They open up the public space for participation and offer viewers, in concrete and metaphorical ways, the possibility of direct interaction with other species—plants or animals—that populate the immediate urban environment. 

Are we falling into a crisis of sensibility? 

While ongoing environmental debates around global warming scenarios and the amount of CO2 emissions tend to shock and concern us, they often possess a high degree of abstraction and detachment which has the consequence of neglecting direct contact with our immediate nature. The focus of this series of exhibitions is therefore on the restoration of an affective relationship with non-human life forms and on increasing attention to urban nature. At the interface between art, city and nature, theoretical and practical situations are created, similar to those of early conceptual artists or members of the Fluxus movement such as Marcel Duchamp or Yoko Ono who expanded the concept of the performative and participation.

In Berlin a collective of allotment gardens known for their innovative ecological and artistic approach serves as the main exhibition location. The gardens—already constructed during the first industrialization with the aim to bring nature closer to the citizens—constitute a rather unusual exhibition site contrasting the traditional white cube setting. Challenging the varying reception of the instructions in relation to the context of presentation, the exhibition berlin.(re)connecting.earth extends further into the public streets of Kreuzberg where the instructions are presented on billboards attracting the attention of viewers while challenging the distinction between art and adverts. To contextualize the notion of the instruction, the historic project space Kurt-Kurt accompanies the outdoor presentation of the instructions and hosts additional video, pictorial and virtual reality works from artists such as Julien Charrière and Bianca Kennedy & the Swan Collective. The instructions are also available in a smaller dimension as posters to be taken home for free by visitors.

In a similar setting to Berlin, the instructions shown in Geneva are exhibited in the ecologically oriented neighbourhood of les Vergers in Meyrin, the art space andata.ritorno and the open-air exhibition space Wilsdorf. 

Regardless of their location the instructions are placed in clear view to attract all kinds of city dwellers and encourage a direct engagement of passers-by. Through different workshops and performances in the gardens together with the gardeners, artists such as Adrien Missika, Zheng Bo, Valérie Favre and the public the project aims to promote the engagement of a non-traditional art crowd and to stimulate an interchange of different cultures and ideas. Everyone is invited to photograph their own interpretation of the instructions and to share the images with the artists and the public online using the hashtag #reconnectingearth. 

For more information visit reconnecting.earth.

About art-werk
Based in Geneva art-werk is a non-profit association for the promotion and diffusion of art committed to contemporary social and environmental concerns. Art-werk creates exhibitions across Europe including an open educational program, and offers free access to a regular podcast, articles and a newsletter focusing on the connections between art, science and societal issues.

The project is made possible through the support of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and in Geneva through Loterie Romande, Thomas Stanley Johnson Foundation, Ernst Göhner Foundation, SIG, and the cities of Geneva and Meyrin.

Design: Fuchs Borst