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  • Moving Towards a Balanced Earth

    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.


    • In Moroccan artist, Mounir Fatmi’s “Skyline,” the city, often a symbol of economic triumph, is not impervious to the collective behaviors of human beings and forces of nature.


    • The Russian artists, AES & F Group portray people in startling relationships with their environment in the series, the “Last Riot.”


    • For many indigenous cultures, the shamans are the reservoir and keeper of wisdom, guiding their people to a more balanced existence. Artist, Antonio Briceno stands in front of his photograph from the “Gods of the Americas” series.


    • In Gabriela Morawetz, “Waterfinder,” nothing else is left on the earth—only infinite walking in some choreography that eventually becomes a new pattern of movement, language and direction.


    • This living sculpture, “Food Farm” by Amy Young and Ken Rinaldo, is designed to inspire participation in lowering greenhouse gas emissions through personal and local food production. It is a functional garden, fish farm, and fountain ecosystem.


    • Swedish artist, Lars Siltberg, three screen video installation of “Man on Balls.”


    • Opening reception of the exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum, Wellington, June 2008.


    • Curator Randy Rosenberg leading exhibition tour with Dr. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and President Tong of the submerging islands of Kiribati.

    Exhibition Statement

    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.

    Venues

    Te Papa Tongarewa Museum , Wellington, New Zealand, 2008

     

    Participating Artists

    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