La Kunsthalle Mulhouse presents Circumnavigation Towards Exhaustion, the first solo exhibition in Europe by Brazilian artist Clarissa Tossin.
In summer 2019, fires raged across the Amazon. Later that year and on through the Southern Hemisphere summer, more than 180,000 square kilometers burned in Australia. Early in 2020, the French National Forests Office reported that of the 9,343 forests it manages, 45.1% had been impacted by drought in 2019, particularly in Eastern France. Planet Earth is in a state of panic as a direct consequence of the industrialized, profit-driven, globally interconnected world created by humans. Our unwavering faith in progress has guided the industrial developments of the past three centuries. Today, as the world burns, we must rethink the course ahead.
For Clarissa Tossin, there is no turning back, nor is the world we have wrought in the 21st century an acceptable foundation for the future. We are the products of consumer society,...and the artist demonstrates this lineage while confronting us with the perverse absurdity of the world we are building and leaving to posterity. Through her sculptures, photographs, and installations, Tossin reflects on humans as the main agents in the global industrial complex—a system humans alone have brought about, for which humanity bears sole responsibility. We will leave our traces, the refuse of a civilization that has produced and consumed a great many artificial materials. Plastic and transformed metals will remain long after we are gone. Future archaeologists will judge our actions and methods.
Circumnavigation Towards Exhaustion meditates on the ubiquitous materialism and greed currently driving Earth’s living organisms to potential extinction. The central work in the exhibition, Death by Heat Wave (Acer pseudoplatanus, Mulhouse Forest), contemplates the imminent global demise of all life through the death of a single tree. A skin-like silicone cast of a dead Sycamore Maple from the Mulhouse forest highlights the death of Sycamores across the region in recent years, due to rising summer temperatures; aerial views reveal clusters of dead trees throughout the forest. The sculpture captures the tree in a state of decomposition, its embodied presence in the exhibition measuring the breakneck pace of human economic activity against the deep, slow-moving cycles of natural decay and regeneration.
From emerging waste recycling and reforestation efforts to fictional responses provoked by the global calamity, Tossin contemplates the day, not far off, when we exhaust this planet’s resources and flee to Mars to begin anew, as an extra-terrestrial civilization with no choice but to continue elsewhere or perish. In Circumnavigation Towards Exhaustion, Clarissa Tossin tackles issues which, like the economy of materials and ideas, encompass the entire globe, affecting every one of us in our daily lives. The extensive overseas expeditions that began in the early modern period and charted Earth’s land masses have now culminated in the pervasive material, economic, physical, and emotional exhaustion we face today—a world crying out for a paradigm shift.
A proposition by Sandrine Wymann
Clarissa Tossin's work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, New York; the 12th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh; the Hammer Museum Biennial, Los Angeles; SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe; MassMOCA, North Adams; Queens Museum, New York; Bronx Museum, New York; the Center for Contemporary Art, Israel; Fundação Iberê Camargo, Brazil; SESC Pompéia, Brazil; and Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, Germany.
Tossin is the recipient of fellowships from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; the Graham Foundation; Artadia Los Angeles; and Harvard Radcliffe Institute. She is currently working on Mojo’q che b’ixan ri ixkanulab’ / Antes de que los Volcanes Canten / Before the Volcanoes Sing, a film commission by EMPAC–Rensselaer.
Entrada actualizada el el 08 sep de 2021
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