At a time when climate change is becoming ever more obvious and the voices calling for radical action are increasing in number and growing louder, eco-visionaries put forward critical and creative visions for storytelling, initiating discussions and devising strategies for surviving in the world to come, which they present in a range of contemporary art practices, among them installations, audiovisual works and projects in other media. From the extinction of species to deforestation, from pollution of the seas to the toxicity of the air we breathe, from the foreseeable climate refugees to the need to imagine new food systems, the exhibition addresses the most important crisis that humankind faces.
“ECO-VISIONARIES. Art for a planet in a state of emergency”
14 June – 6 October, 2019
Matadero Madrid Nave 16
Paseo de la Chopera, 14, Madrid
Curated by Pedro Gadanho, Mariana Pestana and the Matadero Madrid team, Eco-Visionarios is structured into four themed sections: Disaster, Extinction, Co-existence and Adaptation. Ever since pre-industrial times and particularly from the second half of the last century onwards, environmental degradation and human-caused climate change have been increasing at a pace without precedent in any previous period of history. The exhibition examines the theoretical framework of the Anthropocene, a concept used by some in the scientific community for this new geological era we live in, and a term that makes reference to its defining characteristic: the responsibility borne by humans as the agents of environmental change on a planetwide scale.
Eco-Visionaries is the shared title of an international exhibition project originally organised by the MAAT (Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnología) in Lisbon (Portugal), Bildmuseet de Umeå (Sweden), House of Electronic Arts (HeK) in Basel (Switzerland) and LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón. It was conceived as a work in progress to which new contributions have been added by the Centro de Creación Contemporánea Matadero Madrid and the Royal Academy of Arts in London (United Kingdom). In Spain, Matadero Madrid and LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón are working in partnership on the joint presentation of this proposal.
Eco-Visionaries is being presented in Matadero Madrid as the first activity of a new initiative, the centre’s Instituto Mutante de Narrativas Ambientales [Mutant Institute of Environmental Narratives-IMNA], which will address the climate crisis through research and artistic output. The institute is backed by Platform-A, an interdisciplinary network consisting of the itdUPM (Innovation and Technology for Human Development Centre), Madrid City Council, through its Environment and Mobility Division, and Matadero Madrid. The institute will be temporarily based in Nave 16 in order to present its projects and to support the exhibition with its activity. Among its various projects, the institute proposes to establish an ambitious Cyborg Garden for the Matadero complex as an experiment in climate change adaptation in urban environments.