OLIVER RESSLER: How can artists confront the climate crisis? Mike Watson, δημοσίευση στο ArtForum [17/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
For twenty years, Oliver Ressler has been making videos on topics such as capitalism, democracy, racism, and ecology. Below, he discusses “Barricading the Ice Sheets,” curated by Corina L. Apostol at Tallinn Art Hall as part of the artist’s wider research project involving six exhibitions across Europe that focus on the climate movement. On view through November 6, the Tallinn show features the six-channel video installation Everything’s coming together while everything is falling apart, 2016–2020, which follows environmental activists as they plan and carry out blockades and demonstrations in various locations throughout Europe.
I AM CERTAIN that the climate crisis is the most dire crisis facing humanity today; it threatens the very basis of what makes life possible on Earth. I believe we must remember this alongside all actions we undertake as we rethink and redesign how to exist in the world as humans, artists, and cultural producers. With this in mind, I’ve been working on the cycle of films, Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart, 2016–20, about events of mass civil disobedience related to the climate justice movement. Each video focuses on a particular event, for example, the blockade of an open-pit coal mine outside of Berlin (as with Ende Gelände [End of the road], 2016), the obstruction of Europe’s second-largest coal port (Amsterdam, 2017) or the 2019 occupation of the Venice Film Festival red carpet, a guerilla action that drew media attention to the climate crisis (Venice Climate Camp, 2020). Since 2016, I have created six of these films, all of which are on view at the Tallinn Art Hall.
In all my work, my aim is to overcome the conventional distinction between artistic and documentary elements. For example, in the film Not Sinking, Swarming, 2019, which focuses on the planning of a highway blockade in Madrid, I had to anonymize the activists I was filming in order to protect them from potential harassment and persecution. At various points in the video, the entire image is pixelated, creating an effect that could evoke Pop Art or something similar. The pixels are in constant flux, following the movements of the assembled activists. Later, I chose a different way of concealing the participants’ identities while simultaneously highlighting the actions being developed through their discussions. I created a quite complex image structure in which I used the outlines of the people sitting in the assembly and filled these outlines with the documentary footage of the climate action that took place a few weeks afterward. What we might label an artistic intervention is thus motived by the documentary material itself; this goes some way to bridging the perceived gap between activism and art.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.