Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paradise Lost.

The exhibition "Paradise Lost" in Istanbul Modern deals with the old dualistic understanding of culture vs. nature in the western world. The shown video-installations approch this issue from many different perspectives. Some of them focus on the "clash" of nature and modern technology, others wake and exhibit a deep fascination for the creation (wich I do not mean in a religious sense!) with all the structure and beauty in it. You will see naked people in the clouds, women dancing on saturated green mountain meadows, opened skulls, memories stored in light and a biker comforting kangaroos. And more that keeps you thinking.

"Paradoxically we celebrate or mourn modern industrial society as the cause and effect of humans' victory over nature. Modern industrial society thus is seen as the end of nature and the highest state of culture. Yet modern industrial society is at the same time critically dependent on "natural" resources such as hydrocarbons. Modern human society is not independent of nature; at best (and at worst) it's a hybrid of nature and culture."

The video below gives an insight to the installation that captured me most because of its stunnig, calm aesthetic, without a wagging finger or moral sermon, and yet offering "a message" - Migration by Doug Aitken. Every shot in it would be worth a frame.

"Even many animals are not really unambiguously part of nature or culture. Several of North America's iconic "wild" animals, for example, are neither wild nor domesticated. Turkey, deer, buffalo, pigeon and geese all passed through genetic bottlenecks as humans subjected the species to dramatic selective pressures by (nearly) exterminating them, breeding them back or managing their populations."

(quotes from Interview with Emmanuel Kreike, associate professor of history and associated faculty member of the Princeton Environmental Institute, by Carol Peters found here)
temporary exhibition "PARADISE LOST"
in Istanbul Modern
until the 24th of July,
on thursdays entrance is free

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