'End of the World' Art Biennale looks on Climate Change


Global Warming seems to be everywhere these days, with more information reaching more people (thanks to audiovisuals like An Inconvenient Truth and sites like TreeHugger), and moreover, scientific consensus (check our coverage of the IPCC report here, and here on Latin America) that the problem is real and happening as we speak. Well, in this case it got to the most southernmost city of the planet: Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. In that place, from March 30th until April 29th more than 100 artists from 25 countries have gathered under the theme Circularity of Time and its Metaphors, Ecological Emergencies, Urban Topographies, and What Other World is Possible? "This inaugural edition brings the Argentine Patagonia to the forefront, and questions the future of regions such as Antarctica or Greenland, which can no longer be seen as utopian places", say the organizers. "It is not by chance that the 1st End of the World Biennale takes place at the South Pole: from the last city of the planet, it looks at the rest of the earth from a privileged point of view, opens the way for new stances and promotes a deeper understanding of the natural world". Check what the work shown above means and the list of artists participating in the extended.The Biennale takes place in four different venues: the city Sports Center, the Old Penitentiary, The Pedestrian Bridge and the Beban House and Outdoor Spaces.

List of artists includes Kcho y Edgar Hechavarría (Cuba), Fred Forest (France), Callessen Samuelson (Denmark), Zafos Zagogaris (Greece), Mariana Vassileva (Germany); Apdahl, Ørnulf (Norway), Mariano Klautau, Caio Reizenvicz, Guaraci Gabriel and José Rufino (Brazil), Gonzalo Días and Patrick Hamilton (Chile), and Juan Fernando Herrán (Colombia), among others. Argentineans include the controversial León Ferrari, and also Luis Felipe Noé, Joaquín Fargas, Charly Nijensohn, Jorge Haro, architect Clorindo Testa, Luis Benedit, Andrea Juan, Horacio Zabala, Isabel Caccia, Dolores Cáceres, Flavia Da Rin and Mónica Girón, among others.

Though the complete enumeration of projects would be too much, here are some highlights (you can find the whole list at the Biennale website).

First picture belongs to Argentinean Jorge Orta and English Lucy Orta's Antarctic Village project, whose proposal is to "metaphorically transform the Antarctic territory into a Nation for Humankind, a promised land that would house millions of displaced men and women exiled due to wars, climatic catastrophes, economic injustice, political terror, racism". The piece involves a series of actions, including the installation of 'textile architectures' in Antarctica and Ushuaia that explore nomadic housing alternatives; the filming of a documentary; photographic records; workshops; and even the proposal of a new article to rectify the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights to "recognize that all human beings have a natural right of free transit and crossing any frontiers into the territories of their choice." This piece is located at the Sports Center venue.

The crystal balls were made by also Argentinean Claudia Aranovich, and are located in Bahía Encerrada. Piece consists of four spheres made from broken glass covered with fiber and resin, with a solar energy powered lamp inside. The spheres refer to the four main subsystems of Earth: the lithosphere (earth), the hydrosphere (water), the biosphere (living beings), and the atmosphere (air). "These spheres distill —at the same time— fragility and toughness, roughness and softness, the violence of what is broken and the relief of what is repaired, the choice of floating for ever or make land. Its effect is both dramatic and peaceful", the curator says at the Biennale catalogue. "The industrialized object floats peacefully in the heart of nature as a metaphor of something broken and then repaired inside a perfect ice like frozen shape".

Third image belong to Methane, Antarctic Project, Face II. It's an installment by Argentine Andrea Juan. The artist and her team carried out this project during the months of January and February 2006 at the La Meseta Formation of Seymour, in Marambio Island, Antarctica. The project reflects the effect of climatic change on that environment, for instance the methane gas particles presence on the surface, and the disintegration of the Larsen Ice Shelf. "The fog, the inaccessibility and isolation of this frozen place, which is slowly being invaded by fluorescent emanations that invade space. Imponderables, to the last breath, the effort of man to emerge unharmed from such struggles", writes the artist.

Last on the image above is Luis Felipe Noé's Human Nature in Nature, a mixed technique on canvas piece located in the Sports Center. "It has been written that time engenders oblivion, but in the particular case of the aesthetic experience, it engenders imagination and memory. Time is invisible: we only perceive it's passing with change and the traces left by this change", says Horacio Zabala, curator for a previous show by the artist, "Noé's paintings and drawings creak because they resist velocity. That is, the impatient look that wants to cover everything at first glance. In order to be discovered, his works demand to be looked through slowly, again and again. Only by going backwards and forwards, shapes come out of shapelessness. By letting ourselves wander in zigzag, the deepness of shape will appear".

Find out about the other artists and projects at the Biennale website (available in English). ::Bienal del Fin del Mundo

'End of the World' Art Biennale looks on Climate Change
Global Warming seems to be everywhere these days, with more information reaching more people (thanks to audiovisuals like An Inconvenient Truth and sites like TreeHugger), and moreover, scientific consensus (check our coverage of the IPCC report here,