Ursula Biemann, Peter Fend, Piero Gilardi, Pedro Neves Marques, Oliver Ressler
The Extractive Machine
Neo-colonialsms and Environmental Resources
March 26–June 4, 2017
Opening: March 25, 6–9pm
Parco Arte Vivente (PAV)
Via Giordano Bruno 31
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Curated by Marco Scotini
The Extractive Machine, curated by Marco Scotini, is the new exhibition with which PAV Parco Arte Vivente continues its investigation into the antagonistic relationship between environmental activism and neo-liberism politics on a global scale. Following on from Vegetation as a political agent (PAV 2014), the current exhibition aims to become a further examination of the forms of colonialism (both historic and current) with which the West continues to leave its imprint on the destinies of the world, cultures and nature in a, by now, irreversible way.
An idea shared by several theorists (from David Harvey to Saskia Sassen) sees the current financial system as being the second phase of capitalism: the one defined as “extractive capitalism.” No longer exclusively linked to modernist productivity, mass consumption and the circulation of goods, new capitalism appears rather as a gigantic mechanism for the extraction of value from humankind and nature, with the progressive inclusion of all possible resources and which excludes no areas of either individual life or the natural environment.
The birth of a new predatory and corporate elite stands as a counterpart to the expulsion of thousands of people from their territories, the growth of new forms of poverty and the massive expropriation of lands, water and all other common assets, as well as the increasingly greater expansion of the mining sector. Extractive capitalism or, according to Harvey, accumulation by dispossession, despite the imminent total depletion of fossil fuels, continues to devastate immense areas of the planet, perpetuating a programmed destruction with regard to nature, replicating exploitation practices that propose a new colonialism, acting to the detriment of both the dignity and the rights of indigenous populations in the southern part of the world.
The way in which these issues can be tackled, starting from ecological and non-anthropocentric premises, is at the theoretical center of The Extractive Machine, Neo-colonialisms and environmental resources. The works by these five exhibiting artists are animated by an activist and trans-disciplinary spirit. They aim to explore the ecological environment from different observation perspectives, concentrating on phenomena such as pollution, desertification, climate change, the privatization of agricultural crops or the unequal redistribution of the costs and advantages implied by the environmental modifications currently in force.
The mapping of indigenous activism, state of rights and environmentalist resistance traced by Ursula Biemann (in collaboration with Brazilian architect Paulo Tavares) in the progressive process of the destruction of the Amazonian Forest; the accusations made against the economic politics behind global warming and climate change in Oliver Ressler and Piero Gilardi’s investigations; just as the phenomenon of desertification and the ocean basins is at the heart of Peter Fend’s research, or the genetic manipulations and intensive farming as the extension of the historical colonialist project in Pedro Neves Marques, all aim to present themselves as an artistic support to the new defenders of the Earth in the fight against the predatory, multi-national companies.
The exhibition is supported by Città di Torino, Regione Piemonte, Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione CRT.
The Extractive Machine