Featuring: Aram Bartholl (DE), Georgia Brown (UK), Rebecca Chesney (UK), Jasmina Cibic (SI / UK), Eca Eps (NG / UK), Don’t Follow the Wind (JP / US / IT), Marius Förster, Kristina Fromm, Jacqueline Hen (Transformation Design) (DE), Alexander Kluge (DE), Sara Lehn (DE), Sogol Mabadi (IR / SE), Alistair McClymont (UK), Museo Aero Solar, Doireann Ni Ghrioghair (IE) and Sven Wiesner (DE).
In recent years we have witnessed international climate agreements promising change at a snail’s pace, fake news increasingly distracting public opinion away from scientific consensus and reparations to those impacted by climate change still only a concept rather than a fair redistribution of resources. It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that many artists have been moved to seek out responses and solutions to some of the problems they see in the world through their art.
Of course this approach is not entirely new. Beyond the experiments of Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci, the diplomatic efforts of Peter Paul Rubens in 17th Century or the political and social endeavours of Joseph Beuys in the latter half of the 20th Century, there have always been artists who have doubled as scientists, state agents or social activists. Today, the unhindered progression of climate change brings a different set of motivations – and an increasing body of artists who use their art to understand or impact the systems that govern us.
Reparation and disrepair is the binary theme that bring together two contrasting approaches as shared concerns within the artworks in this exhibition. Some artists take the structures and systems of society and nature and rework them, microcosmically reflecting the inequality and turbulence of our current times, some artists speak of stasis and disarray brought about by bureaucratic or financial systems. They play witness to the shifts of behaviour and thought within their societies, at times evidencing these changes, at other times acting as forecasters of what may be to come. – presenting our world in a state of disrepair.
Others use their art to repair, borrowing techniques from science, technology or ecology to rethink the way we live and coexist. For these artists, representation and irony are not enough, they seek to understand and co-opt the forces around them in order to construct works that provide solutions for our collective future – they become inventors, citizen scientists and hacktivist engineers.
Climates of change brings together artists who look at changing systems – social, financial and architectural – and artists whose work seeks to directly create and disrupt change through the invention of alternative mechanisms.
For its third edition, MKH Biennale will look through the eyes and experiments of artists at the changing social, political, cultural, environmental and historical climates that we are living through to ask, How do artists comprehend, influence and make change in the world? and What can we as a community do now?.
This is an exhibition that conjures up a sense of dread and unbounded hope in equal measures.