For beyond that horizon lies another horizon
Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst, Katharinenstraße 23, Oldenburg, Germany
The exhibition For beyond that horizon lies another horizon* is a proposal to imagine emergent horizons for the Earth household of the future. It is inhabited temporarily by works of artists exploring possible modes of survival, cooperation and care for a myriad of communities connected by the complex web of life.
The point of departure for this messy assembly is an attempt to change the world-ecological system based on the concept of an unlimited economic growth. The artworks in the exhibition resonate with collective forces working on overcoming the paralysis of imagination related to this model’s inherent inconsideration of socio- environmental costs and cycles. In particular, they correspond with disputes related to redesigning human organizations in ways that would end the ongoing creation and appropriation of what Jason W. Moore calls “cheap nature”: cheap labor power, cheap energy, cheap food, and cheap raw materials. “Cheap nature” functions in the exhibition as a metaphor of processes of extracting surplus value from the web of life and putting human and extra-human nature to unpaid or low-priced work.
Trying to look critically at and beyond these toxic conditions of (re)production, the artists do not ground their practice in the quest for new, ideal and utopian sites and ideas. They rather focus modestly on careful connecting, recycling, and thereby transforming a variety of already available tools, embodied knowledge, and resources, among which experience care work is particularly valuable. They approach complexity and interdependence of emergent patterns of environment-making by using different scales of perception and relating seemingly disparate fields of competence. While some explore and translate biomimicry and states of “becoming-animal, becoming-earth and becoming-machine”, the other draw on legacies of indigenous habitats or autonomous survival practices of global civil society. It is against this backdrop that emerge interconnected questions related to food production, and notions of waste, money, community and value of work can be reinvented.
Yet the common matter of concern for this constellation of artworks is care work. What if care-giving were liberated from patriarchy and the economy of “cheap nature”? Could it be done collectively for human and non-human communities in an expanded, decolonized household?
ARTISTS: Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová; Sin Kabeza Productions (Cheto Castellano & Lissette Olivares); Tamás Kaszás (featuring Anikó Loránt as ex-artists’ collective); Diana Lelonek; Alicja Rogalska; Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor; Monika Zawadzki.
Exhibition prepared in cooperation with Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź
*The title is a quote from the poem “Celebrating our Freedom" by Chirikure Chirikure, performed in the film “The Order of Things by Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor.