Will Nature Make A Man Of Me Yet?
Pi Artworks Gallery, London
August 3 - September 31, 2016
This exhibition addresses the escalation of environmental disasters today. Through video, collages, sculptures, performance and installation by participating artists - Huber & Huber, Mark Salvatus, Rachel McCrae, Victoria Sin, Omer Even-Paz, and a special lecture-performance by Alex Ankina - the exhibition asks how do humans, and their creations, adapt to uncontrollable environmental changes after centuries of ecocide?
The exhibition presents a pan-global perspective on the issue of the Anthropocene, a term referring to a new age of humanity’s significant impact on the planet. This is done by exploring gender, capitalism, ecological cascades, identity, automation, materiality and the potential for nature’s reincarnation after the crisis. Huber & Huber’s bubble machine spews black paint against the white gallery floor, alluding to the regulation of creativity by technology. Mark Salvatus’s video installation shows flashes of all the world’s currencies suggesting the blur and meaninglessness of subjective value facilitated by paper money. This is juxtaposed by a video projection of people climbing up and down a public overpass in Manila. Victoria Sin explores advanced capitalism’s profiteering from nature by creating a forest of larger-than-life plastic banana balloons, which she will inflate in the entrance of the gallery. Rachel McRrae opens up the discussion on environmental cascades as she gathers dust, driftwood, broken coffee cups and speculative Roman artifacts from the river Thames, turning them into animated sculptures. Omer Even-Paz breathes life into animals like cows, rabbits and sparrows made of foil with disparate parts that don’t belong but are brought together in a Frankenstein-ean fashion. Manuel Mathieu’s painting appropriates abstract images within concrete scenes of political tensions, aggravated by the struggle over natural resources.
Will Nature Make A Man of Me Yet? brings together artists who reconfigure, appropriate and destroy a simplistic depiction of nature as separate from man: raising awareness of the destructive and creative effects of human consumption on the cosmos. At the heart of the exhibition is the argument that the Anthropocene is the necessary evil to create new methods of creating sculptural life forms that have never existed before using images culled from the Internet.
The exhibition seeks to incite feelings of rage and exhaustion as we witness a new age where artists aren’t actually able to respond or take control because they are swept up in the current structures of things as much as anybody else. Artists are unable to view the Anthropocene objectively because they live deep within it. The feeling of frustration and incompetence weaves these artworks together, as the artists visualize the twenty first century’s environmental armageddon.