Nature strives for balance, including balancing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But the rate at which humans are moving carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels has surpassed Earth’s ability to maintain balance. As a result, the climate is changing. Carbon balance is one part of nature’s balancing act. Humans, collectively and individually, also strive for balance.
In this exhibition, we ask the artists to help us find new visions and new choices for a balanced Earth. What does it mean to be in balance as individuals and communities? How do we get the Earth in balance? What does balance look and feel like?
The answers are as varied as the artists. Their stories reflect both the consequences of our current path as well as the opportunities for new ones. One artist calls this dilemma of balance “existential slapstick,” while another calls breath and clean air the necessary first step for balancing ourselves, and the planet. Some artists explore new energy sources for the future, while others remind us to trust Mother Earth and the shared energy and wisdom that has always been here – if we take the time to look, listen and receive.
Collectively, the artists ask us to consider the connection between Earth’s imbalance and ours. Can we use nature as a model and mentor to find equilibrium? Nature reacts by adapting or going extinct. How will we react? The choice is ours to make now — or nature may choose for us.
Te Papa Tongarewa Museum , Wellington, New Zealand, 2008
AES & F Group–Russia; Ken Aptekar–USA; Lise Bjorne–Norway; Lien Botha–South Africa; Antonio Briceno–Venezuela ; Enrique Martinez Celaya–Cuba; Alison Clouston–New Zealand; Bill Culbert and Ralph Hotere–New Zealand; Geoff Dixon–New Zealand; Chris Drury–UK; Mounir Fatmi–Morocco; Ocean Earth –USA; Ilya & Emilia Kabakov–Russia; Walangari Karntawarra–Australia; Ik-Joong Kang– Korea; Gabriela Morawetz–Poland; Susan Norrie–Australia; Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba–Vietnam; Susan Plum–Mexico; Ken Rinaldo & Amy Youngs–USA ; Alexis Rockman–USA; Harriet Russell–UK; Soledad Salame–Chile; Lars Siltberg–Sweden; Cyprien Tokoudagba–Benin; Bill Viola–USA