RETHINK Contemporary Art & Climate Change

Finally got to see some of RETHINK; it’s a wonderful exhibition. The Saraceno is gigantic, but the human biosphere, suspended high in the air, was closed for repair today so I wan’t able to go in it, which saved my vertigo.

Allora & Calzadilla’s A Man Screaming Is Not A Dancing Bear (2008) is stunning. Filmed in New Orleans, post-Katrina, it’s strange and elegaic. Repeating through the film are moments in which a barely-glimpsed man drums on some abandonded Venetian blinds. It lends an angry, jumpy soundtrack to the slow pans across water-stained walls.

Kerstin Eregenzinger’s Study for Longing/Seeing (2008) was unsettling in a very different way. Sheets of dark, lifeless rubber suddenly twitch unexpectedly, driven by strange spider-arms beneath them. It feels like a landscape that’s coming alive, animated by some strange pulse. “The work,” says the catalogue, “Is a reactive installation using data from seismographs and sensor-based structures to simulate a landscape and its changes. The installation responds partly to movements in the earth outside the exhibition building, and partly to audience movements in the exhibition room itself…”

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