Andreco, Georges-Louis Arlaud, Marcos Avila Forero, Olivo Barbieri, Gayle Chong Kwan, Caretto/Spagna, Jota Castro, Sebastián Díaz Morales, Federica Di Carlo, Mario Fantin, Bepi Ghiotti, William Henry Jackson, Adam Jeppesen, Francesco Jodice, Jeppe Hein, Frank Hurley, Peter Matthews, Ana Mendieta, Studio Negri, Giuseppe Penone, Pennacchio Argentato, Paola Pivi, Laura Pugno, Gaston Tissandier
The exhibiton Post-Water, curated by Andrea Lerda, will open at the Museo Nazionale della Montagna of Turin on Thursday, 25 October at 6.30 pm. A narrative path on the theme of water that is articulated through video, photography, drawing and sculpture.
The project includes the works of about twenty international artists, together with a core of photographs and historical documents belonging to the Documentation Center of the Museo Nazionale della Montagna – Cai of Turin.
Also on show are some important works from the collections of the Castello di Rivoli – Museum of Contemporary Art, the MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, the Vejle Kunstmuseum and the La Gaia Collection in Busca.
The exhibition is part of a global debate on a theme of great collective urgency. Water, the most essential natural element that generates and guarantees the maintenance of life, is only one of the goods that suffer from the acute crisis of the sense of responsibility of our time. Melting of glaciers, pollution of seas and oceans, desertification of lakes and rivers. These are the most disturbing images that the Anthropocene era was able to produce, altering the natural balance at every level.
According to Jeffrey Peakall, Professor of Process Sedimentology at the University of Leeds, the Earth is much more resilient than we imagine. It is very probable that man will become extinct, while our planet will proceed on its natural path of life. The point then may not be how much the anthropic impact is devastating in the long run. Rather, as how the management of our planet and a fundamental resource such as water take place in ways that are unsustainable, and therefore harmful, in the short term.
The narrative path of the exhibition originates from a reference to the myth of Narcissus and calls into question the spectator as a protagonist in the process of activating the works right from the onset.
Never before has the reference to this mythological figure been more appropriate to describe the pathologically self-flattering attitude and the constant danger of de-realization of contemporary man.
In a time of “great blindness” (A. Ghosh, The Great Derangement, 2016) we are all summoned to question our sense of responsibility and our ability to “take care of our gaze”, no one excluded.
The tendency of global society to mirror and reflect itself unconditionally in its image of power, together with the confidence in the equation consumption = growth = happiness, risk causing us to die of the same poison the young Narcissus suffered.
Recent works, together with some new productions specially made for the exhibition, then raise a series of urgent problems concerning water. Through a journey between present, past and future, the references to the most burning issues that sadly see it as a protagonist alternate with the evocation of possible “water” scenarios.
In highlighting the well-being ideology, fueled by the machine of progress at any cost, the exhibition suggests the importance of rediscovering a conscious gaze, in an era in which this same look becomes blind, quick and distracted. Reflecting on the possible future scenarios that overgrowth will be able to generate is a duty. Investing and relying on technical and scientific power is a possibility that allows us to solve in a temporary way the problems that await us.
Another path is that suggested by UNESCO which, in the last World Water Development Report 2018, indicated Nature Based Solutions (NBS) as the only way to overcome water problems and to support sustainable growth aimed at the survival of man.
While trusting in the great capacities of scientific research, the invitation that the exhibition addresses to Narcissus 2.0 is to re-establish authentic and primordial contact with all natural cycles, to regain control of his gait, putting aside the myth of speed by which he is possessed. This “being in the water” cancels his image and thanks to this bath, which becomes a sort of “horizontal meditation” (C. Guérard, 2006), he has the possibility of getting out of it regenerated. Because as noted by Gaston Bachelard “Who gets wet is not reflected”.
From the mountains to the sea, the whole water cycle is at the center of an extremely urgent debate. Speaking of water within the framework of the Museo Nazionale della Montagna of Turin means tackling a theme of great collective urgency, carrying out a fundamental awareness-raising action through a multiform instrument such as art.