Red Desert: The place where activism becomes attitude
The group exhibition showcases a selection of contemporary works rooted in societal and political activism. Forty-three works by thirteen artists - such as Olafur Eliasson, Ryan Mendoza, Aron Demetz, Hans Op de Beeck, Carmen Perrin and John Isaacs - participate in debates about immigration, racism, consumerism, technology and environmentalism.
"Red Desert: The Place Where Activism Becomes Attitude" showcases a selection of contemporary artworks that are rooted in societal and political activism. 43 works by 13 artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Ryan Mendoza, Aron Demetz, Hans Op de Beeck, Carmen Perrin and John Isaacs participate in debates about immigration, racism, consumerism, technology and environmentalism. They are expressed in a mix of media and materials such as wax sculptures, installations, photography, drawings and digital art.
Activism as Attitude
All works in the exhibition cater to a fundamental demand for societal and political activism. The red desert mentioned in the title presents the allegorical ground for the artistic commitment; the untouched environment of the desert allows for any work to be created from scratch; red stands as the symbolic colour of activism, passion and freedom. The preceding exhibition, «Monte Verità: Expressionist Utopia», demonstrated the artistic expression of the real meeting point and a melting pot of artists, intellectuals, pacifists and followers of alternative lifestyles on the namesake hill in the Swiss Canton of Ticino in the first half of the 20th century. "Red Desert: The Place Where Activism Becomes Attitude" now enables audiences to learn more about the artistic heritage of the movement and how contemporary artists find themselves in urgent need of action.
Harmony and Discomfort
The British artist John Issacs showcases the spiritual and physical decay of the human body with his sculpture "If Not Now Then When". The proud and victorious pose of the figure cannot hide the sheer mass of the human form and its apparent overconsumption. Therein Issacs poses the question of there is such a thing as the right moment to change one’s life. Italian sculptor Aron Demetz makes the sometimes uncomfortable connection between humans and nature visible. Wood is his material of choice as it changes in time and is destructible, demonstrated as the human facade of the sculpture comes undone.
Strong Step Into the Present
"With the current exhibition we are building the metaphorical bridge from Monte Verità and its inheritance to the present", says Sofia Komarova, director of AV Modern & Contemporary. "It’s a strong step for us and also enables us to honour the important Swiss artist’s movement whose influence is still visible today."
Red DesertThe Place Where Activism Becomes Attitude Essays by Lorenzo Sonognini, Nathalie Heinich, Flaminia Scauso, Massimo Minini and 5 interviews between Pietro Ruffo & Olivier Gurtner, Carmen Perrin & Loïc Fel, Hans Op de Beeck & Simon Lamunière and Scoli Acosta & Andreas Schwab., 2016 Hardcover 152 pages
Dimensions: 28 x 28 cm