Never turn your back on Mother Earth
Lucy Lippard was instrumental in developing conceptual art in New York in the 1960s and 70s, she was part of the feminist movement and a well-known political activist. In 140 Artists’ Ideas for Planet Earth, compiled by Hans Ulbrich Obrist and Kostas Stasinopoulos, Lippard comments: ‘Never turn your back on Mother Earth. You never know what she’s got up her sleeve. Be brave. Stand up for her. Make art that can save the planet. Last chance…’
A clarion call from Lippard to the artist: create art that will save the planet. And there are many artists (as that book points out) who devote their career to this goal. Another way of putting Lippard’s appeal would be: Don’t make art that ruins the planet. To start at the beginning of our exploration of the future of exhibitions we need to address the artist first. Artists bear a huge responsibility to reduce their impact, for example in their choice of materials and by embracing circularity in their method of working. Our task as exhibition makers is to lay down parameters for artists, without limiting artistic autonomy.
This dossier contains a text by the artist who started the ball rolling for this Atlas: Kadir van Lohuizen, who creates art that - in Lippard’s words – can save the planet. Also heard here is Amanda Pinatih, Stedelijk Museum curator of the It’s Our F***ing Back Yard exhibition in which designers and artists looked at materials in radically different ways through innovative experiments and using local knowledge.
Kadir van Lohuizen (The Maritime Museum)
Kadir van Lohuizen created the exhibition Rising Tide about the human consequences of rising sea levels. Rising Tide vividly shows how climate change is already affecting places where people live: Greenland with its melting glaciers, Kiribati, Fiji, the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, the Guna Yala Archipelago in Panama, the United Kingdom, Jakarta, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands and the United States. Rising Tide was shown between 2019-2022 at Het Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam, Kunstlinie Almere and the Museum of the City of New York (USA), respectively, and is currently traveling further around the world. The idea for this ATLAS arose during Het Scheepvaartmuseum's research into making this traveling exhibition more sustainable.