15th – 22nd August 2018
Outdoor symposium in Polana forest Slovakia
Concept: Lucia Tkacova
Artists: Anouk Kruithof, Dora Kendera, Lucia Tkacova, Jaro Varga, Karen Kielland, Mark Fridvalszki, Martin Piaček, Nico Krebs, Svätopluk Mikyta
“The neolithic human invented Nature as an antithesis to the human world, as something that is “else” and “somewhere else”. Nature was conceived as something to fight against, to exploit and, lately, to protect. Nature is conjured up to be visited, depicted, classified, devastated, bought and sold. It is a place where we dump trash and get emotional by the sunset.”
On a planetary level, there is no “somewhere else” and there is no “Nature”. All beings, human and non-human are interconnected, everything happens “here”. Everything we do now will resonate for thousands of years. In the times of extinctions and metastasizing capitalism artists, thinkers and environmentalists search for exit paths. They are projecting worlds that are just and sustainable, that are “different”, “in another time” and “somewhere else”. This focus outwards distracts our attention from painful reality — we are all inside. We are co-creating the system that pampers and enslaves us, innerly distanced from our own deeds we alleviate our responsibility, just to live in comfort and abundance.
Art production, like every other production, puts a strain on the environment and fills the world with trash. It abides to the rules of the neoliberal market, speaks the language of brands and quakes for the attention of the rich and powerful. Artworks are produced to be evaluated and priced, art producers speculate on trend development, calculate with wall power and optimize the costs. Artworks end up in cargo containers, storages and deposits. Today ́s cult pieces are tomorrow ́s trash. As a reaction, we would like to revive the dusty category of land-art and revisit it ́s relevance. We would like to liberate art from studios, workshops, galleries and storages and let it thrive outside the market and IRL. Our world is in danger and we feel the need to attend to it artistically, even if in homeopathic dosages. We want to explore, within our own minds and bodies, what is the core of artistic creation and what is the responsibility of an artist in the terminal stage of world as we know it. We long for innocence, for realness, for the beginning.
Within The Last Amazonian Congress we would like to create conditions in which artists can make art with- out plundering the earth, without electricity and rare elements, without cheap labor, interns, cargo containers and production companies, with no pressure to succeed, without audience and without price. We would like to challenge the artists to step out of their usual discourse and language, look into the complexity of relations between the self and the world and dive into the symbiotic reality around and inside us. We invited an international group of artists, that will spend 7 days and nights in a forest in Slovakia pondering, observing, discussing and making art. We encouraged artists not to bring working material from outside, but react to the situation and work with the means that the forest offers (without harming it). What is made in the forest, stays in the forest. We intend to leave the artworks in the place they were created, the forest will gradually metabolize the artistic interventions and they will disappear without a trace.
Text by Lucia Tkacova on The Last Amazonian Congress