Opening: 17 jun 2017 15:00
The planet is undergoing radical transformation. The massive destruction of its ecosystems comprises not only climate change and species extinction. Continent-sized floating plastic islands, toxic waste and monoculture farming are also part of the processes that are changing the conditions of life on Earth.
We call it development. Progress. Growth. Development based on centuries of unrestrained intervention in the complex and interdependent processes that make up the life-sustaining systems of the Earth. The destruction of these systems however are also the result of slow violence. A violence that is exercised in the margins of our attention, a violence that is often out of sight, invisible, and whose destruction emerges with a delay. A violence not perceived as violence.
The story of the Anthropocene, the new geological era in which we live, puts mankind at the centre of the development of the Earth, designating humans as the most significant geological factor. Yet the consequences of planet-consuming activities are deeply embedded in a specific way of perceiving the relationship between Man and his surroundings that developed concurrent with European colonialism and early capitalism.
The narrative of the Anthropocene considers the destruction of the Earth as collateral damage, unintended harm, but use of the term ‘climate change’ in the 18th century tells a different story. Even then, it was crucial to control not only physical surroundings but also to change climatic conditions. Along with the enslavement and annihilation of people, the manipulation of environments and climates was integral to the colonial project.
How did it become possible to consider people and environments as inexhaustible resources to be used and abused without costs? The exhibition Slow Violence is an attempt to read the destabilization of the climate and the destruction of the Earth as a history of slow violence.
Slow Violence is curated by Katarina Stenbeck and is part of the research project “In Search of the Lost Future”. It is the inaugural exhibition of the Charlottenborg Art Research programme, a collaboration between the Royal Danish Art Academy and Kunsthal Charlottenborg.
The exhibition is generously supported by the Augustinus Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Danish Arts Foundation.
Screening of the film Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld
In connection with the exhibition we will be screening the film Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld, 2016 (27 min.) by artists Lise Autogena (DK) and Joshua Portway (UK) Wednesday June 21 from 5pm at Charlottenborg Art Cinema. Prior to the screening they film will be introduced by the artists and the curator of the exhibition Katarina Stenbeck. Read more about the screening.