The exhibition gathers 15 art projects in a time of planetary crisis. From the economic crisis, wars, the pandemic and the climate crisis, it is obvious that humanity and its way of life on planet Earth is at risk. The works and projects on display in the Safien Valley are commentaries and proposals that critically examine the present and suggest alternatives to current developments and upheavals. They reflect on our relationship with the earth, on what we can learn from it. Learning from the Earth not only asks us to respond to the climate emergency, the art works also highlight alternative, sometimes forgotten or unlearned, ways in which we can dialogue with and learn from the Earth. The artworks are both campaign, methodology, and intervention.
At their core, the works address issues of sustainability, biodiversity, and nature in general. Issues such as the human-animal-plant hierarchy, holism, and cosmology are also addressed. Common to all is the question of how we can create a more ecological and just future. In addition to formal and site-specific realisations, the works often include procedural, participatory, and transdisciplinary-research components, revealing deeper relationships to systems and phenomena related to the social and cultural aspects of climate change. Learning from the Earth is both an exhibition about change and a catalyst for change.
The exhibition, as well as the accompanying publication, the concurrent Alps Art Academy and ILEA TALKS symposium as well as the ILEA Institute’s ongoing research projects are less about scalability and more about multiplicability. There is no single solution to a problem as complex and multi-layered as the climate crisis. Learning from the Earth reflects this complexity. The exhibition is a call to action, inviting us to respond collectively to a changing world and to engage with visions of the future in all their scientific and artistic ramifications.
Works and projects by: Lara Almarcegui (ES), Badel/Sarbach (CH), Ursula Biemann (CH), Julius von Bismarck (DE), Buchli/Isenschmid (CH), Com&Com (CH), Valentina De Micheli (CH), Saskia Edens (CH), Lithic Alliance (CH/BE), Marcus Maeder (CH), !Mediengruppe Bitnik (CH/DE), Dharmendra Prasad (IN), Simon/Odermatt (CH), Steiner/Lenzlinger (CH), Ben Vautier (FR/CH)