The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is honored to present the innovative installation EXIT at the Palais de Tokyo from November 25, 2015 to January 10, 2016. Based on a prompt set out by French philosopher and urbanist Paul Virilio, this experimental work was created by American artists and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with architect-artist Laura Kurgan and statistician-artist Mark Hansen with a core team of scientists and geographers. Originally commissioned for the exhibition Native Land, Stop Eject in 2008, EXIT is now part of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain’s permanent collection.
EXIT is composed of a series of immersive animated maps generated by data that investigate human migrations today and their leading causes, including the impacts of climate change. Its complete 2015 update has been planned to coincide with the pivotal Paris-based United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). A crucial opportunity to limit global warming, the COP21 provides a powerful context in which to consider the issues at the heart of Exit: “It’s almost as though the sky, and the clouds in it and the pollution of it, were making their entry into history. Not the history of the seasons, summer, autumn, winter, but of population flows, of zones now uninhabitable for reasons that aren’t just to do with desertification, but with disappearance, with submersion of land. This is the future.” (Paul Virilio, 2009)
EXIT, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
November 25, 2015 – January 10, 2016
Open everyday except Tuesday, from 12 am to 12 pm
Palais de Tokyo
13 avenue du Président Wilson
Commissioned by the Fondation Cartier at a time when human migration flows began to take place on an unprecedented scale, Exit was first shown in its space at the end of 2008 as part of the exhibition Native Land, Stop Eject, and subsequently at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen during the COP15 in 2009, and at the inauguration of the AlhondigaBilbao, Bilbao in 2010. Conceived as an artwork, Exit uses geo-coded data that was collected from over 100 sources, processed through a programming language and interpreted visually. The work is a reflection on the notions of being rooted and uprooted, as well as related questions of identity, Native Land addressed issues that have continued to intensify. The current asylum crisis makes the 2015 presentation of Exit more timely and relevant than ever.
The success or failure of the COP21 negotiations will be felt for years to come, and will contribute to the course of the planet. Showing Exit for a two-month period at the Palais de Tokyo within this context is not just an important artistic event, but also a call to action, as the updated data paints the picture of movement across the globe today. The pixels making up each map represent human experiences, and reveal that our present relationship to our native land is based less on our attachment to a particular place than on our movement across it.
Exit takes form in an immersive space that presented a 360° projection of six animated and thematic maps: Population Shifts: Cities; Remittances: Sending Money Home; Political Refugees and Forced Migration; Natural Catastrophes; Rising Seas, Sinking Cities; Speechless and Deforestation (see credit for AlhondigaBilbao and Unesco).
Using a wide array of sources ranging from international organizations to NGOs and research centers, Exit provides the rare opportunity to visually understand the complex relationships between the various factors underpinning contemporary human migrations. The work has been entirely updated, reflecting the alarming evolution of the data since it was first presented in 2008. In each of the six maps, the connection between humans and their environment has degraded considerably over the past seven years.
The number of people displaced by wars, persecutions and violence has reached an all-time peak since the end of World War II, leading to a major political crisis here in Europe, though most of those displaced are hosted in developing countries. Urbanization and large-scale deforestation in tropical countries have continued at a riveting pace, leading to the uprooting of an increasing number of indigenous communities and the resulting loss of their native languages. Current pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions are judged widely insufficient to achieve the goal of a maximum temperature increase of 2°C by the end of the century, and scenarios of a global warming that could reach 4°C or even 6°C are no longer considered science-fiction.
NATIVE LAND, STOP EJECT
Native Land, curated by Hervé Chandès, was born from conversations between its key players, Paul Virilio and the French filmmaker and photographer, Raymond Depardon. In his film Hear Them Speak, which was part of the original 2008 exhibition, Depardon, in close collaboration with sound engineer Claudine Nougaret, gave a voice to traditional people who expressed their attachment to their native land in their endangered mother languages. In contrast, Virilio examined and challenged the very idea of sedentariness in the face of increasingly complex contemporary human trajectories.
The exhibition was thus at once a contradictory and complementary dialogue between these two perspectives: “Raymond Depardon and I both came around to this same question: what is left of this world, of our native land, of the history of what so far is the only habitable planet?” (Paul Virilio, 2008). These are the questions that ultimately led to the installation Exit, created by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Mark Hansen, Laura Kurgan, and Ben Rubin, in collaboration with Stewart Smith and Robert Gerard Pietrusko.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Mark Hansen, Laura Kurgan and Ben Rubin,
in collaboration with Stewart Smith and Robert Gerard Pietrusko, with Jeremy Linzee, David Allin, Michael Doherty, Aaron Meyers, and Hans-Christoph Steiner. Scientific Consultant: François Gemenne, researcher and professor of migratory movement linked to climate change, Sciences Po, Paris. Scientific Consultants for Speechless and Deforestation: Bruce Albert, Director of research at the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), and François-Michel Le Tourneau, Director of research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). Speechless and Deforestation was produced by the AlhóndigaBilbao, Bilbao, and created in partnership with Unesco.
With special thanks for the 2015 update to Research Associates at the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University: Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, Madeeha Merchant and Research Assistant, Jonathan Izen.