June 20, 2018 - Guangdong Times Museum - Let’s Talk About the Weather: Art and Ecology in A Time of Crisis
June 20, 2018

Guangdong Times Museum

Emeric Lhuisset, The Last Water War: Ruins of a Future, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

Let’s Talk About the Weather: Art and Ecology in A Time of Crisis
June 23–August 19, 2018

Guangdong Times Museum
Times Rose Garden III
Huang Bian Bei Road, Bai Yun Avenue North
510095 Guangzhou
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +86 20 2627 2363

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Participating artists and collectives:
Marwa Arsanios (USA), Sammy Baloji (Congo), Ursula Biemann (Switzerland) and Paulo Tavares (Brazil), Design Earth (Lebanon, Algeriers), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Emre Hüner (Turkey), Jessika Khazrik or The Society of False Witnesses (Lebanon), Adrian Lahoud (Australia), Emeric Lhuisset (France), Nicholas Mangan (Australia), Sophia Al Maria (Qatar/USA), Pedro Neves Marques (Portugal), Arctic Perspective Initiative (Matthew Biederman, USA / Marko Peljhan, Slovenia), Claire Pentecost (USA), Monira Al Qadiri (Kuwait), Marwan Rechmaoui (Lebanon), Natascha Sadr Haghigian (Portugal), Karrabing Film Collective (Australia), and Zheng Bo (China)

Exhibition design: Adib Dada, theOtherDada integrated architecture lab(Lebanon)

Co-curated by: Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (Slovenia), Nora Razian (Lebanon)


Let’s Talk About the Weather: Art and Ecology in a Time of Crisis is an exhibition addressing urgent issues around a changing climate, future ecological disaster, and what this means for our present moment. The term Anthropocene has recently been proposed to designate a new geological age that follows from the Holocene, the period designating the last 11,700 years of the Earth's history. As humans move from biological agents, that is as agents affecting their immediate environment to geological agents, affecting weather patterns and planetary biodiversity, a new way of understanding our impact on the planet is needed. The Anthropocene appears, then, as a set of proposals for imagining different ways of being and doing in the world. These ecological issues are beginning to be explored from regional perspectives. Recent developments in art practice and in civic discourse point to an increasing awareness of the urgency of climate change and the importance of activating this discourse in the public sphere.

The exhibition includes local and international artists, architects, thinkers, and activists, showing both existing and newly commissioned work. The project raises pertinent questions about how we understand “nature”, our relationship to the non-human, epistemic hierarchies, the relationship of climate change to social, political and economic conflicts, and alternative ways of co-inhabiting the world. The exhibition has framed the diverse artistic practices within the exhibition through four themes: Contaminated Civilization, Mapping Matter, Energetic Histories, Mapping Matter, Energetic Histories, Archaeologies of the Future. On a discursive level, the project aims to initiate novel connections and dynamic conversations around art, activism, and ecological thinking that are crucial for mobilizing creative collaboration in the region and beyond.

How can we better understand the intricate relationship between colonial histories, contemporary conflicts, and climate change? How to create an epistemic system where non-Western, non-Modern, non-dualistic, and indigenous cosmologies can flourish and reshape thinking? With what strategies do cultural practitioners and situated communities support “nature” to take up place as a subject of legal rights?

Amidst this sobering doom and gloom, the necessary work of critique is accompanied by the ever-more urgent work of creation. Instead of problem-solving, creative practices across the arts and sciences must come together to problem-address. This project takes the museum as a space of creation and as an apparatus that activates divergent world-making practices. The Anthropocene, more than a call to arms and a banner of eco-awareness, questions the very ground of our worldly identity: our supposed “humanity.” In order to reimagine this humanity, we start with how individuals and communities sense and articulate their world in-common. With this in mind, the exhibition’s goal is to put into practice the original meaning of “aesthetics” as the shared capacity to sense and make sense. 


Online Publication: Elements for a World
A series of five publications were especially commissioned for the exhibition iteration at the Sursock Museum, titled Elements for a World: Stone, Fire, Water, Wood, Sky. The publications are edited by Ashkan Sepahvand and feature commissioned essays and visual contributions. You can download the e-book for free from the museum website. A selection of essays from the authors Sarah Riggs & Omar Berrada, Fadi Mansour, Elizabeth Povinelli and Françoise Vergès have been translated into Chinese for this occasion and will be released on Guangdong Times Museum’s official Wechat account.

Guangdong Times Museum
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