The main focus within my current body of work is how thin the line between war and peace, disruption and repair, hope and loss is. My current works explore the horrors of socio-political problems that our society is facing, particularly I am interested in Environmental Ethics. The problem highlighted within my current piece is the corruption of nature by humans.
During autumn and spring term my knowledge of technology has developed significantly. I was impelled to learn more about kinetic technology in order to develop the effects I wanted in my sculptural practice. In this summer exhibition I am exhibiting two disasters encased within a display cabinet. The Tornado installation was easier for me to create, as it included more physics rather than engineering, but with the Tsunami, I have collaborated with Dr Steven Gould from Systems Engineering Department to help to build the wiring of the machine to make it work effectively.
Over the past year I have been tracking the formation of storms, the impact they have on the environment and our capacity as a species to cope with them. I learned about their affects, their frequency and the areas where they are prone occur. I tracked live satellite imagery, weather patterns and hurricanes and this broadened my understanding of what influences the weather and occurrences of disasters.
It became clear to me that we are unaware of the effects we are having on nature. By domesticating animals we thus change the species numbers which influences the biodiversity and balance on Earth. I’ve became interested in how nature becomes corrupted by humans in various ways and how it tries to fight back. In general I have seen that humans don’t realize the effects of their actions. I developed an installation to draw attention to the absurdity of our anthropocentrism by encasing the most powerful disasters within a closed space. In effect I am attempting to create a ‘pet storm’, a disaster transformed into a household ornament. This in many ways is a reflection of the way in which we temper and tame nature. This also can be seen in Isabelle’s Stengers book ‘In Catastrophic Times Resisting the coming Barbarism’(2009), she says: ‘Today a new word has been created to characterize our situation: our epoch would be the epoch of the anthropocene.’
My piece consists of a Tornado and a Tsunami within a display cabinet, encaged and seeking for freedom. This installation is not only about environmentalism it is the power that people employ by ‘playing God’. When we are scared of something we want to control it. Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina (2005), Haiti Earthquake (2010), Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami (2011), Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami (2004) left unbearable results for humanity, but in some sense it also gave a new start, a ground of ‘Zero’.
Throughout two years I have been influenced by Zero Art Movement, the group of artists that was founded by Heinz Mack in 1957. For me, this movement illustrates the purity of art, it helps purify the horror of wars, disasters and conflicts:
“a zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning.”– Otto Piene
I also looked at Agnes Martins minimalistic paintings, as well as Fiona’s Tan ‘Ghost Dwellings, these two artists are completely contrasting but in the same time for me they become an illustration of what I am trying to comply within my practice. Francis Alys with his video art piece ‘Tornado’ unveils the wild power of nature, when he reaches the center of the tornado there is the momentum of nothing, ‘0’, the power that wipes everything on it’s way, in some way it illustrates a peaceful moment, purity and eternity of nature through destruction.
The display cases are white, pure and really minimalistic, they purify the horror that is happening inside of them. The three painted photographs on the walls around Tornado and the Tsunami, depict the aftermaths of the disasters, the painted white stripes are purifying the images, in some way they are censoring the horror. The viewer is not able to see the full image, so he sees it as a minimalistic image, but when the viewer comes closer he is able to see the details and realize what is happening behind the white strips. The viewer is the one who makes a decision of what he sees. Either a ‘nice picture’, or the reality within that.