Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing World

Artists from around the world have gone to Greenland to respond to climate change and now another group is going to eight different UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe to record their responses. Why artists? Answers one: "...Art changes the world by changing the way you see." Another said he wanted to "open people's minds" and another "when you hear a poem you can feel it." For this art exhibition, called "Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing World", two art museums and Rare, a global conservation organisation came up with the idea to send them to exotic locales under threat. More works below the fold...

They travelled to fantastic places, on everyone's list of 1,000 places to see before you die, such as Galapagos National Park, Komodo National Park (Indonesia) and Three Parallel Rivers (China). They were asked to look at "the changing nature of some of the most bio-diverse regions on earth and the communities that inhabit those regions." Working in all different media, the artists worked with local communities to create their responses to their chosen site.


Mark Dion has been fascinated since childhood with the komodo wild dragons. His work is a structure, locally built, that will be a mobile library and resource station for the park rangers of Komodo National Park. He will use the vernacular of the pushcart which is popular in Indonesia.

Xu Bing worked with school children in Kenya to develop artworks using the Chinese characters relating to trees (such as 木, 林, 森, the ideograms for "wood," "woods," and "forest"). The children's work will be auctioned off to raise money for toward reforestation efforts in Kenya.

Marcos Ramirez Erre, a Mexican conceptual artist with a background in construction went to the Three Parallel Rivers region in Yunnan China because he wanted to focus on "human beings and the social relations they generate and the different phenomena that emerge from the contact between different cultures". In his project he worked with local builders to create a sculpture: a wall that represents the wall of a traditional house. He used regional building methods and materials and placed four "windows" showing video footage of the everyday lives of the residents and the landscape.

Ann Hamilton went to the Galapagos and she created a poetic text that is an inventory of the animals and plants of the Galapagos, cites population figures, and incorporates words from Charles Darwin's famous texts about the islands. Other artists are: Diane Thater, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Rigo 23, and Dario Robleto. :: Human/Nature Via :: Inhabitat
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Tags: Artists | Conservation | Ecology | Exhibits