Human Nature – Humane Nature
Gilles Aillaud — Ed Atkins
Valentin Carron — Gyárfás Oláh
Shara Hughes — Jochen Lempert
Otobong Nkanga — Robert Rauschenberg
Yuyan Wang — Pamela Rosenkranz
Gisèle Vienne — Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
& Vincent van Gogh, with the painting Trees, July 1887, Paris
As the signs that we need to rethink the polarity between nature and culture are multiplying, and when the harm inflicted on the planet by human beings is becoming ever more apparent, the exhibition “Human Nature – Humane Nature” invites us to explore the complex relationship between humanity and nature.
Vincent van Gogh, an enlightened, avant-garde artist working during a time of intense industrialisation, often evoked nature and the possibility of synthesis with it. His pantheistic vision can thus serve as a lens through which to consider contemporary works, to reflect on the differences and affinities today’s artists have with Van Gogh’s legacy.
Although the fourteen artists presented in “Human Nature – Humane Nature” seem to share the desire to foreground the urgent issues we face and to rethink our behaviours, they engage with different realms – those of dreams, of poetry, or the archetypical relationships between human beings and the plant and animal worlds. Their works, including sculptures, drawings and videos, capture apparently bucolic elements or evoke the disastrous effects of humanity’s domination over the rest of the living world, reflecting forgotten ways of being in the world from our distant past or existential questioning that has all too often been dismissed.
By focusing on the infiltration of the artificial and the digital into every aspect of our being, our daily lives and our bodies, certain works bring us closer to what is now both fundamental and essential.
Bice Curiger, Julia Marchand, Margaux Bonopera