Ruri’s exhibition at Liget Galeria and her presentation were highlights of the Symposium on Sustainability and Contemporary Art at CEU Budapest. See the gallery link below for documentation of her show, which in addition to photographs on glass included a waterfall video installation.
The Icelandic artist Ruri, in her series of photographic and sound installations Endangered Waters, archives elements of the natural landscape that are threatened with extinction as a consequence of human intervention. She catalogues the qualities of individual waterfalls in Iceland , preserving their unique sounds and appearance, for a future in which they may have ceased to exist. Her work is dedicated to exposing the huge environmental costs of Iceland’s exploitation of hydroelectric power by highlighting the threat to the survival of Iceland’s waterfalls posed by extensive dam building.
Liget Galeria Budapest
28 March – 8 April 2006
The group exhibition Unframed Landscapes offered a reassessment of landscape as a genre in contemporary art. The conventional understanding of landscape implies a picturesque view of the countryside – images of ruined castles, a lonely tree in the puszta and romantic seaside villages come to mind. This understanding of landscape has, however, been revealed as culturally-constructed, the product of political ideologies, and conveying human domination over nature. Furthermore, landscape is perceived through a frame by a distant spectator, who remains alienated from the object of his gaze. Nature as a theme in contemporary art acts as a barometer of our ecological attunement.
The exhibition Unframed Landscapes researched our relationship with nature across the full range of current media, including: landscapes painted from train windows, video photography exploring gender and landscape, computer animation researching images of a natural phenomenon on the web, digital snaps expressing the marginality of nature in city life, and physical interventions in the natural environment. The participating artists were Balázs Beöthy, Ivan Bura, Péter Császar, János Fodor, Andrea Huszár, Tibor Iski Kocsis, Csaba Nemes, Ana Opalic and Matko Vekic.
Institute of Contemporary Art Dunaújváros 16 Jan – 13 Feb 2004
Ecology Pavilion Mile End Park, London 20 May – 6 June 2004
Gallery of Extended Media, Zagreb 10 – 30 June 2004
The intriguing idea of Human/Nature is open to a number of interpretations. It includes the notion of a dichotomy between civilisation and the natural world and holds out the possibility of overcoming it. It also involves the tricky concept of ‘human nature’ that has divided philosophers for centuries between advocates of a harsh ‘law of the jungle’ and believers in the intrinsic goodness of the ‘noble savage’. The debate between proponents of optimistic and pessimistic views of basic human character is further complicated by the post-modernist’s belief that human nature is a self-referential linguistic construct and only meaningful within a specific cultural context. Nevertheless, we still feel a desire to delve the mysteries of human nature, and in this situation, art can take a role in divining and expressing the global unconscious.
We are witnessing a growing tendency to seek out new forms of spirituality and a rediscovery of ethics in art. Reconstructive post-modernism regards interconnectedness, social responsibility and ecological attunement as the crucial issues for human creativity. It calls for a reenchantment of the human soul. Human/Nature is about an awareness of how fragile the balance of nature is, how precious local lifestyles are, and how much it all depends on us.
Viktor Daldon, Slaven Tolj, Sandra Sterle, Ivan Šeremet, Denis Kraškovic, Ivana Franke, Luko Piplica and Alem Korkut.
Trafo Gallery Budapest 16 May – 11 June 2002
Galerija Balen and Muzej brodskog Posavlja Slavonski Brod 17 Sept – 4 October 2002