Reclaim the Earth, Palais de Tokyo
- Art exhibitions
Acknowledging today’s socially and politically crucial need to rethink the world beyond the nature/culture partition, the exhibition Reclaim the Earth at Palais de Tokyo follows the trajectories of artists with a different approach to “natural” materials: wood, earth, plants, shells or minerals are motifs or mediums irreducible to their mere materiality. They are cultural, historical and political vectors being revitalized by these artists, considered as both a medium and a tool, in a context of ecofeminist and decolonial urgency.
A selection of artists from different generations and backgrounds – from Australia to Canada, from Brazil to Vietnam, from New Zealand to Guyana via Chile or from Pakistan to Iran – examine issues including the links between body and land (asinnajaq), our primordial relationship with the soil and everything it bears (Solange Pessoa), the disappearance of certain species (Abbas Akhavan), extractivism (Megan Cope), the transmission of indigenous stories and knowledge (Judy Watson), gleaning and collecting (Kate Newby), and social justice and collective healing (Tabita Rezaire)…
Reclaim the Earth is about uncovering new ramifications for artists who help us think, feel and engage with a charged, intensified, natural world. It is about digging the earth both literally and figuratively, transforming underground roots into aerial roots, (re)animating stories that have been forgotten or reduced to silence – or even inventing new ones. Moving away from a Western-centric vision, the artists presented in the exhibition are shaping new connections with nature, the living world and the environment. In doing so they are developing a complex assemblage of practices and scales of relationship: with land, ancestors, human and non-human life, as well as visual culture. Of particular concern here are the links with territory, committed indigenous cultures, and social, cultural or spiritual research testifying to the resurgence of knowledge: of knowing how to think, how to do, but above all knowing how to be in the world.
Abbas Akhavan, asinnajaq, Huma Bhabha, Sebastián Calfuqueo Aliste, Megan Cope, Dale Harding, Karrabing Film Collective, Kate Newby, Solange Pessoa, Tabita Rezaire, Thu Van Tran, Judy Watson… (list as of 25 May 2021)
Curator: Daria de Beauvais
Scientific advisors: Léuli Eshrāghi, Ariel Salleh
The collective exhibition Reclaim the Earth will be accompanied by a public program and a publication.
In the framework of Australia now France 2021-2022, an initiative of the Australian Government celebrating Australia’s creative excellence, diversity, and innovation.
Dale Harding, Site Surveys / International Standard, 2019 – Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery Brisbane – Photo credit: Blaise Adilon
Megan Cope, Untitled (Death Song), 2020 – Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane – Photo credit: Saul Steed
Karrabing Film Collective, The Family, 2021 – Film still – Courtesy of the artists