a liquid platform on the climate crisis, anthropocenic interactions and ecological transition
conceived and curated by Stefano Cagol

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Liquid Exhibition # 1 


Eugenio Ampudia (ES), Nezaket Ekici (TR/DE),
Elena Lavellés (ES), Shahar Marcus (IL),
Hans Op de Beeck (BE), Philip Samartzis (AU)


curated by Stefano Cagol

April 9 – May 29, 2022
MUSE – Science Museum
Palazzo delle Albere
Trento (IT)

The first exhibition of WE ARE THE FLOOD addresses different aspects of the Anthropocene through the research of six prominent international artists, including Eugenio Ampudia (Spain), Nezaket Ekici (Turkey/Germany), Elena Lavellés (Spain), Shahar Marcus (Israel), Hans Op de Beeck (Belgium) and Philip Samartzis (Australia). The nine exhibited works  – most of them presented in Italy for the first time – move in the most up-to-date areas of contemporary art through multiple expressive languages, ranging from video art, documentation of performances, living installations and actions, to sound art and the most recent eco-acoustic research. The suggestions triggered by works that favour an evocative, highly symbolic approach and refined aesthetic research lead us to reflect, spanning from the icebergs and fragmented ice of the Antarctic to the Negev desert, from water to fire, from hypnotic black gold to the proposal for a paradigm shift that puts life back at the centre, according to a hypothesis of a new "Biocene".
WE ARE THE FLOOD is a liquid platform on the climate crisis, anthropocenic interactions and ecological transition, a MUSE project conceived and curated by Stefano Cagol to engage the public with the Anthropocene using the language and interpretation of contemporary art.




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Eugenio Ampudia (Spain),  Concierto para el Bioceno, 2020, HD video, 7:30 min.  Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcellona (ES). Courtesy l’artista / the artist; Max Estrella Gallery, Madrid (ES)

Opera segnalata da / Artwork selected by Blanca de la Torre

 

The video artwork captures a concert in the setting of the historic Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, with a performance of an elegy for string quartet, "Crisantemi" by the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, in front of an undoubtedly exceptional audience: a line-up of over two thousand green plants – 2,292 to be precise, as many as the regular audience size of the theatre. Eugenio Ampudia states he conceived this show for the plants as a symbolic act of reformulation of the present, a paradigm shift based on an eco-social compromise, in the balance between the demands of our society and the needs of the environment. This proposal for change is declared right from the title of the artwork through the reference to the concept of "Biocene", brought forward in the recent Bienal de Cuenca by the curator Blanca de la Torre, which replaces the term Anthropocene - the definition of the most recent era as that of our impact on the planet - to appeal instead to the beginning of a new era with life (bíos) finally considered at the centre.

Eugenio Ampudia (Spain, 1958) is one of Spain's most successful artists. His conceptual artworks on the contradictions accompanying us in our run towards the future have been exhibited internationally in leading institutions such as ZKM in Karlsruhe, The Whitechapel Gallery in London and Matadero in Madrid. He has participated in several biennales, including Cuenca (2021), Havana (2019) and Singapore (2006), and in 2017 he was a finalist for the Spanish national pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

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Nezaket Ekici (Turkey/Germany), Methexis. 2012, HD video, 3 min. Courtesy l’artista / the artist; Camera: Ben Hertzog; Editing: Daniel Landau; Sound design: Daniel Meier; Assistance: Maya Elran; Tamar Dekel; Naanma Bar-Or; Shahar Marcus; Stills: Maya Elran

 

This video work by Nezaket Ekici results from a performance that tests the artist's body and resistance in a practice that we can ascribe to the sphere of the so-called living installations. The work opens with an apparently innocuous marine scene, but when the point of view goes through close-up shots, the hostility of the place unveils in the conspicuous salt crystals that identify the saltiest body of water in the world, the Dead Sea. On this water that excludes almost any possibility of life, a body floats, the face immersed in the water, the eyes closed, the breath suspended. As well as drawing attention to the various issues in our relationship with water in all its forms – as many of the artist's works do – this immersion brings to mind dreaded future scenarios of a planet Earth that could become irremediably inhospitable to us. The title evokes a Greek term, methexis, which can be translated as participation and originally entered into Plato's philosophical language to express the concept of the relationship of the part with the essence, akin to the idea of the exhibition and our "being flood".

Nezaket Ekici (Turkey, 1970), international well known performance artist, lives and works in Berlin and Stuttgart. She uses her body as a means of expression and investigation, mainly developing her practice through interactions with the public. At the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig, Germany, she studied by Marina Abramović’s class. Exhibited in museums like PS1 New York (2004) and Istanbul Modern (2014), and participated in biennales such as Venice (2007), Curitiba (2009) and Bangkok (2020).

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Elena Lavellés (Spain), Pattern of Dissolution, 2017, HD Vídeo, 30 min. Courtesy l’artista / the artist; Suono / Sound: Javier Lara

Opera segnalata da / Artwork selected by Blanca de la Torre