Exhibition responds to climate, ecology crisis
Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM) in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir presents a show questioning humanity’s relationship with a planet on the brink of mass destruction.
The exhibition titled, “At the End of the Day,” curated by the OMM team, asks whether we can develop respectful ways of coexisting with nature, inviting viewers to rethink their relation to the environment. It is the first new show to follow the museum’s reopening in July after a period of temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic became a global health crisis, humanity was beginning to face the consequences of the environmental damage it has wrought ever since the Industrial Revolution.
Natural disasters induced by climate change, an immigration wave that has yet to crest, and a worldwide pandemic highlighting disparities in governing systems and the treatment of human lives, all have brought to light that this earth that humanity has claimed to be the center of for so long is perfectly capable of surviving without us. It makes us question that can our species take heed and use this knowledge to develop respectful ways of coexisting with nature?
The show explores this line of questioning, featuring works that address the distinction between exploitation and coexistence, migration and conquering, and memory and monumentalizing.
The exhibition, which is inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin’s seminal 1972 novella, “The Word for World Is Forest,” finds its roots in a world similar to that of the fictional Athshe, a once-peaceful planet colonized by humans and stripped of its natural resources.
The works on show explore hyper-consumerism and overproduction, colonization and coexistence, the mass migration of climate refugees, and the notion of nature as a mere commodity and backdrop to human experience, inviting viewers to reconsider their relationship to and with the environment.
During this crucial period of understanding and realization in which we become fully aware of the threats posed by overusing natural resources in the name of pleasure and profit while ignoring the earth’s ecological balance, this exhibition shines a light on possibilities for our collective future, for better or for worse.
OMM’s Director Zeynep Birced said,“The pandemic has brought to light our fragile relationship with the planet and undermined our sense of control, as well as exposing the structural inequalities that exist as a result of environmental exploitation.”
Elucidating the theme of the exhibition, Birced said, “This exhibition delves into the past, present and future, but instead of claiming answers or solutions it invites the audience to reflect, using art as a tool to raise consciousness about the myriad issues facing our generation.”
Bringing together over 40 works of painting, photography, video and installation, the 36 artists represented in the exhibition include Adnan Varınca, Ahmet Doğu İpek, Ali İbrahim Öcal, Ali Kazma, Alper Aydın, Andreas Gurksy, Aras Seddigh, Aylin Zaptçıoğlu, Azade Köker, Bashir Borlakov, Burcu Perçin, Burcu Yağcıoğlu, Canan Tolon, Ekin Saçlıoğlu, Elmas Deniz, Emin Altan, Emin Mete Erdoğan, Fırat Engin, Guido Casaretto, Hale Tenger, İrem Tok, João Vilhena, Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, Lara Ögel, Marc Quinn, Murat Akagündüz, Mustafa Hulusi, Nazan Azeri, Osman Dinç, Pınar Yoldaş, Seon Ghi Bahk, Sergen Şehitoğlu, Serkan Demir, Stephan Kaluza, TUNCA and Yaşam Şaşmazer.
During the exhibition, which will continue through April 25, 2021, the OMM Podcast series, “At the End of the Day,” will feature talks with several of the artists offering the chance to get to know the artists behind the scenes and reach out to art lovers who cannot visit the museum. The podcast is available in Turkish on Spotify.