A group of eleven works reflecting on aspects of the Anthropocene, the current and probably brief geological era considered to be the destructive legacy of recent and current human activity endowed on all forms of natural life on our planet.
The group exhibition comprising artists from Denmark and Germany and curated by Carsten Rabe (Hamburg) with Ulrik Lund (Aarhus) was the result of an open call for proposals offering perspectives on the Anthropocene for an exhibition due to be staged in Aarhus as the European City of Culture 2017, and then at three further venues, in Odder, Holsterbro and Hamburg.
I forage for motifs without plan or purpose. Everyday stuff catches my attention, stuff that seems to be out of place or synch, or signals
a rupture or shift in mood. It's like stumbling across scraps of evidence in a barely intelligible, vaguely disturbing narrative.
As I arrange the pictures into certain constellations I hear snatches of music or slight tonalities. Visual signs from extremely different places suggest clusters and force me to look more closely and listen for discreet patterns. The photographs found me in western and central France, in northern and eastern Germany, and on the island of St. Miguel in the Azores.
In the accummulating disaster facing natural life on this planet, human or otherwise, the signals and warnings, indications and messages we have recdeived will end up like directionless shouts into the woods, returning as empty echoes. I saw the corrupted traffic sign on a deserted crossroads in a French forest. The central pole is perfectly unscratched but the key information has been twisted, crushed and erased.
The spiral cast concrete staircase of a once hubristic hotel perched high on a mountain in the Azores now pirouettes as an elegant musical figure of death, illuminating the unnecessary waste of nature in the name of progress, vanity or just plain greed. When we are gone, natural vegetation will have devoured this displaced architectural genuflection to modernity.
The fence at night announces a short burst of rhythm into darkness. The brutal force of recent human history lay foolish claim to a grander teleology than nature, a purposeful schedule through time where instead there is only vast emptiness.
Hooded heralds of death wait in the shadows of a market town, intercepted in their despotic prayers; the absurdity of the Tsunami of human
ambitions must also be laughed off the face of the world. Cuddly mechanical monsters, no longer inanimate, trumpet their glee as they march towards the fest of our destruction. Their shadows
glide across the great clock, and someone has stupidly forgotten to note down the number of the direct line to God.
Exhibition hanging in Hamburg (left) and Aarhus.