Although nature is often romanticised as a private refuge, it is also politically instrumentalised and often becomes a political issue in itself. Nature is always part of a state’s territory and is thus subject to its power structures and economic systems. This contradiction lies at the heart of the exhibition “State and Nature”. Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, it examines the problematic way we humans represent nature, consume its animals and reproduce its fauna and flora. It aims to initiate a discussion which envisions new forms of statehood that could operate in harmony with nature.
The artistic positions presented in the exhibition provide an opportunity to reflect on the relationship of state and nature. For example, in his film “Animalistic”, the Iranian director Sina Ataeian Dena offers a bleak portrayal of the ravages of climate change and war that humans have unleashed upon the metropolitan city of Ahvaz. The work by the Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga examines the scarcity of resources in contrast to the demand for luxury, and points to the environmental scars that our Western lifestyle is causing.
The Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden was predestined to be the venue for an exhibition on this topic. It is situated directly on Lichtentaler Allee – a natural environment that was designed specifically for the purpose of state representation. In addition to staging the exhibition itself, the organisers will work closely with environmental activists and produce a corresponding publication.
Curators: Çağla Ilk, Adnan Yıldız, Hendrik Bündge, Benedikt Seerieder
Artists: Yael Bartana, Mehtap Baydu, Mahmut Celayir, Sina Ataeian Dena, Nina Fischer & Maroan El Sani, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Agnieszka Polska, Mohammad Salemy, Cengiz Tekin and others
16 June, 2021 to 31 October, 2021: Opening & Exhibition
Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden
Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Lichtentaler Allee 8 a
www.kunsthalle-baden-baden.de (external link, opens in a new window)