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The exhibition on view at Fondation EDF offers an alternative vision of climate change, as seen through the perspective of several renowned contemporary artists.
Reproducing materials or natural phenomena, the works on display in this exhibition allow us to observe elusive substances and to marvel at the constantly evolving periodic table of chemical elements.
The flashes of lightning we see here are made of neon, the cyclones made of water, and the clouds made of peanut shells or ceramics. One of the works plunges visitors into a wave generated by sound effects, another invents miniature biospheres in an attempt to relieve urban pollution. One of the works even allows us to realize the dream of walking amongst the clouds…
To coincide with the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), “Artificial Climates” offers an alternative vision of climate change, as seen through the perspective of several renowned contemporary artists including: Marina Abramovic, Hicham Berrada, Spencer Finch, Laurent Grasso, Hans Haacke, Ange Leccia, Yoko Ono and Pavel Pepperstein.
The exhibition offers a poetic evocation of climate. Visitors can enjoy close to thirty installations, photographs and videos, which illustrate the oftentimes imperceptible distinction between the natural and the artifi cial in today’s modern world, as well as exploring the accepted and contemporary symbolism attached to climate.
Monumental, striking, utopian, disturbing, funny or moving, this exhibition privileges works by artists for whom the climate, taken in a broad sense, is a tool necessary to the creative process, rather than the medium of a literal contestation. The central installation by Tetsuo Kondo (and Transsolar), entitled Cloudscapes, serves both to open and act as a paradigm for the whole of the exhibition. Inside a transparent structure, the visitor climbs a staircase, passing through clouds whose composition is identical to those of real clouds, obtained through the careful control of temperature and humidity.
Many of the works on display also raise the question of artifi ciality. Man’s illusionist desire to reproduce nature goes hand in hand with the idea of taming or controlling nature to the extent of being able to recreate it in every minute detail. The idea of walking through and especially, above the clouds, suggests both a poetic and utopian desire to imagine new ways of living on Earth.