Climate change exhibitions

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Climate change in the contemporary exhibition practice

Climate change transforms our surroundings causing, in the same time, shifts in our perception of the environment. Having in mind the growing influence that phenomena called “climate change” have on a wider social sphere, rethinking its consequences is therefore necessary. Whether it is referred as “a new spectre haunting the globe” (Szerszynski and Urry) or one of the „four horseman of the Apocalypse” (Slavoj Žižek), climate change has great impact on creation of new discursive fields both in theory and practice of various disciplines.

In the era of the global interest for climate change, its effects and risks, the special place is given to the mass media – a leader in forming public consciousness on this matter. Mass media communications provide interactions between climate change, scientific and practical knowledge, and local and global actions for improvement of world’s ecological image. Mass media representation is closely linked to the different cultural constructs with deep ideological roots. This raises the question about the ways information and climate change data are being presented to the public. We receive this information daily from different media outlets: magazines, newspapers, cultural or political shows, theatre, movies, exhibitions etc. Today climate change represents significant challenge for contemporary art and culture.

Mariela Cvetic wrote: “Media, art and architecture have potentials to point out the problems in nature and environment, especially the changes such as the one of climate. Therefore, climate change stands for cultural, social and economical problem perceived within transdisciplinary teams of artists and scientists”.

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Exhibitions as a phenomena limited by time and space produce not only what is supposed to be accepted, but most of the time construct public opinion and represent its reflection. Therefore, exhibitions have been successfully used as a media for climate change propaganda. Contemporary society often identifies with visual and media representations, so the relation between exhibition, climate change and social ongoing becomes more complex. Exhibitions are independent forms of cultural diffusion, a coherent systematized unity. Relation between art and climate change can be seen through exhibition practice. Exhibitions as a place of knowledge and information exchange between experts and public become a part of strategies and tactics for implementing micro and macro climate politics.  They represent a potential for mediating between theory and art in the domain of climate change. Exhibitions can also become places of direct creation of programme politics and principles in the processes of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

3 Thoughts on “Climate change exhibitions

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