Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

• October 24, 2009 • Comments (8)
Tomas Seraceno 300 Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Tomas Seraceno, Biospheres

With growing urgency, contemporary artists from around the world have been responding to the issue of global climate change. Some spectacular examples of this work will be on display at a  major international exhibition of environmental and climate change-related art in Copenhagen, Denmark.

RETHINK: Contemporary Art and Climate Change opens October 31, and will be in full swing during the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.  The goal of the exhibition is to help provide politicians attending the meeting, as well as the general public, with new perspectives on some of the complex human issues stemming from global climate change.

Olafur Eliasson small Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Olafur Eliasson, Your Watercolor Machine

The exhibition features work by 26 important Nordic and international artists, including Olafur Eliasson, Henrik Hakansson and Tomas Saraceno. Works will be shown at a series of venues including the National Gallery of Denmark, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art and the Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center.

Four distinct sections of the exhibition highlight different aspects of the climate change crisis.  RETHINK Relations focuses on issues of global interdependence, with artists exploring new kinds of experience, knowledge and sociality emerging through our unified human response to the problem. RETHINK the Implicit challenges notions of a fixed and unchanging reality, drawing attention to the changeability of phenomena we normally take for granted.

RETHINK Information highlights the role of information, in various forms, in shaping our apprehension of climate change and the kinds of responses that may be available to us. Finally, RETHINK Kakotopia investigates various dystopian and even utopian fantasies that have emerged in connection with climate change.

Argentine artist Tomas Saraceno presents Biospheres, 2009, a series of transparent globes inspired by scientific studies of cloud formation, soap bubbles and spider webs. Some of the biospheres float in the air; others contain plant-based ecosystems and largest allow visitors to step inside.

In Your Watercolor Machine, Olafur Eliasson creates an installation in which basic properties of light and color are captured through use of a spotlight, prism and reflecting pool of water.

Among other highlights of RETHINK: Contemporary Art and Climate Change:

Nigerian artist Bright Ugochukwu Eke uses water as a metaphor for the universal source of all life. His installation Acid Rain consists of numerous suspended, teardrop-shaped bags filled with water and carbon. The work reflects Bright’s experience with rain in polluted areas, particularly in the oil-producing regions of Nigeria.

Bright Ugochukwu Eke Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Bright Ugochukwu Eke, Acid Rain

American artist Jennifer Allora and Cuban collaborator Guillermo Calzadilla will present  A Man Screaming Is Not a Dancing Bear, a video work comprised of footage taken in New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Like other work by Allora and Calzadilla, the film finds telling details that stand as metaphors for larger global realities.

Allora and Calzadilla Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Allora and Calzadilla

Swedish artist Henrik Hakansson will present Atmosphere, an audio and light installation featuring sounds from four synchronous recordings taken in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico. Hakansson also presents his new film 7.AUG,2009 consisting of super slow-motion footage of butterflies fluttering against a blue sky.

Henrik Hakansson Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Henrik Hakansson, Atmosphere

Dynasty by Icelandic Love Corporation is a video performance in which three women dressed in furs and expensive jewelry gather to mark “the final moments of one of the last snow-clad areas on Earth”.

Icelandic Love Corporation Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Icelandic Love Corporation, Dynasty

Finnish artist Tea Mäkipää presents Link¸a new video work depicting the life of a half-human, half-ape character living on a small island in a remote part of Finland.

Tea Makipaa Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Tea Makipaa, Link

Kerstin Ergenzinger presents Study for Longing / Seeing, a reactive installation that moves in response to both seismograph data and the movements of visitors in the exhibition hall.

Kerstin Ergenzinger Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Kerstin Ergenzinger, Study for Longing / Seeing

Canadian artist Bill Burns presents a selection of his Safety Gear for Small Animals, consisting of safety vests, helmets, goggles and the like all scaled down to the size of mice, frogs and birds.

Bill Burns Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Bill Burns, Safety Gear for Small Animals

Cascade by New Zealand new-media artist Janine Randerson uses projected images and sounds extracted from scientific mapping software, as well as shared videos illustrating the impacts that climate change has on the survival of Arctic animals and the Arctic ecosystem.

Janine Randerson Cascade Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Janine Randerson, Cascade

Hyperkinetic Kayak is an interactive installation by Danish artist Jette Gejl Kristensen that explores how the body senses and knows the world. The work consists of a kayak situated in a virtual 3D Greenland sea ice  landscape that is affected both by the paddler’s movements and by data on Greenland air temperature.

Jette Gejl kristensen Contemporary Art and Climate Change: RETHINK opens in Copenhagen

Jette Gejl Kristensen, Hyperkinetic Kayak

See more at http://www.rethinkclimate.org.

All images courtesy of RETHINK and the artists. Thanks.

Tags: art exhibitions, climate change, Contemporary Art, Environmental Art, News

Category: Environmental Art

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Scott Norris is a writer and publisher of artculture.com

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Comments (8)

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  1. peter hughes says:

    Plan b to save the world from climate change….Ecoplaza Paradise Oasis. First climate change film made in a solar powered studio and with a happy ending. Yes we save the planet and this outlines how.

    We are due to complete a film in time for the conference however we have been offered no way to present this to date. We are desperate to show this work as it answers one of the most pivital questions for the first time. How do we transform our lifestyles internationally in order to meet the mneeds of climate change. This work is based upon eigteen years research and market testing and provides a whole new method, based upon the latest sociological science in how to rapidly get results in a far more effective way than through attempting to get governments to agree targets before radical transformative action to take place. If you can help through offering a venue either official or not for this most important workj to be seen then it would be very much appreciated, for all enquiries regarding possible presentation or distribution of this half hour film please contact us. A traler will be up on our website over the next few days..

  2. The connection between deforestation and climate change, and the challenge to express that visually, is the basis for Angela Palmer’s most ambitious and logistically challenging work yet. The concept is to present a series of rainforest tree stumps as a ‘ghost forest’ – using the negative space created by the missing trunks as a climate change art metaphor, the absence representing the removal of the world’s ‘lungs’ through continued deforestation.

    Ghost Forest will be installed in Thorvaldsens Plads, Copenhagen 7-18 December 2009 during the Cop15 UN Climate Change Conference.

  3. kinga monica says:

    Dear ArtCulture Team,

    We saw our entry and some information describing the Ecoplaza Paradise Oasis film on your site. Thanks for putting it up. At the time of submission we sent a rushed email to the offices in London, as we were running out of time with the deadline, roughly outlining what the film is about. It was a personal email, meant only as a draft and not for publication on any website. Hence, we have enclosed below the 100 word description of our film we completed later. If possible, could you please update your info as we have noticed some spelling mistakes. Also the emil address has got capitals. The sight has litterally gone up and the address like this works fine http://www.ecoplazaparadiseoasis.com . The longer version will be completed over the next couple of days. If you prefer to keep the other description then please correct our mistakes, oops. Thank you very much.

    Ecoplaza Paradise Oasis….plan b to save the planet

    Denmark, 2038. – A rollercoaster ride charting our adventure to save the planet. In times of flood we built arks to save nature… A win/win pact between governments, and NGO’s leads to the creation of lifestyle centres worldwide, from Soweto to New Orleans. Ecoplazas, combining like an immune system for the Earth. They address climate change and many social ills simultaneously. Through multi-layered eco/monics, new stratas of the low carbon economy get established. The first climate change film with a happy ending. This film introduces a new branch of socio/ecological science. Made in a solar powered studio.

    Warm wishes,
    Kinga Monica
    co-producer

  4. modern art says:

    Interesting blog and some very good work by an abundant of talented artists. Its nice to see contemporary art being used to raise issues that we already now about regarding climate change. Each piece featured here certainly makes a bold statement, thanks for sharing.

  5. danny bloom says:

    Plan Z to save the human species from extinction circa year 2500 AD — polar cities. Google them!

  6. [...] In Copenhagen this week a group of famous, contemporary artists have installed new art works that in some way reflect on, or comment on, humans and their effect on the planet’s fragile environment. Phi Phi Oanh’s Specula would have no difficulty in holding its own there. In fact it would be a stand out. She is obviously an artist who will have a successful international future. [...]

  7. John says:

    We are due to complete a film in time for the conference however we have been offered no way to present this to date. We are desperate to show this work as it answers one of the most pivital questions for the first time. How do we transform our lifestyles internationally in order to meet the mneeds of climate change. This work is based upon eigteen years research and market testing and provides a whole new method, based upon the latest sociological science in how to rapidly get results in a far more effective way than through attempting to get governments to agree targets before radical transformative action to take place. If you can help through offering a venue either official or not for this most important workj to be seen then it would be very much appreciated, for all enquiries regarding possible presentation or distribution of this half hour film please contact us. A traler will be up on our website over the next few days..
    +1

  8. going green says:

    I really like the images and what they represent. I think we have a lot in common. I want to ask you if you would consider making a guest post on my site http://oneworldforusall.com. Look forward to chatting with you.

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