press release

ms1, Więckowskiego 36

Pangea United
22.03.2019 - 09.06.2019

Joanna Sokołowska

It is highly possible […] that we are no longer the citizens of any one particular state. Deep in our hearts we carry the countries we were born in, their chaotic diversity, rivers and mountain ranges, forests and savannahs, the changing seasons, birdsong, insects, air, sweat and humidity, grime and city noises, laughter, disorder, and confusion.

Achille Mbembe, "Politiques de l’inimitié", 2016 [forthcoming in English 2019 as "Necropolitics"]

The history of Pangaea, or ‘Pangaia’, is the tale of a united old continent that existed about 200-250 million years ago, combining all the currently separated continental blocks. The broken up fragments of Pangaea still bear the traces of that old relationship. By making use of this geological metaphor, the ‘Pangea United’ exhibition invites the viewer to try to imagine the earthly community as one household.

Artists taking part in the exhibition ask questions that help to rouse our ecological imagination. How can prototypes created within the art world teach us responsibility for the invisible suffering inflicted on other bodies? Can the logic of industrial livestock production lead to a similarly objectifying production of human life? What is the environmental potential of humble actions such as scrubbing floors with recycled fabric, seeding cress in public spaces, or organizing meetings where women can discover the burdens of patriarchy collectively? What can we learn from people who live in communities under threat of extinction, the so-called indigenous and folk cultures? What would be the value of goods, money and labour in a future devoid of any prospect of economic growth? Why will borders, zones and territories that divide the Earth forever remain fictitious and porous? The artworks presented within this group exhibition create a kind of essay on the subject whose matter of concern is human attentiveness and consideration of the interdependence of different forms of life.

For far too long, categories such as usefulness in production and consumption, borders between states or the hierarchies of species, have been used to categorize various kinds of terrestrial inhabitants. Meanwhile, we need images, concepts and feelings capable of expressing the more complex relationships that both unite and divide us. An awareness of the fragility and malleability of life incessantly intersected and stirred by others — other people and living organisms, machines and ecosystems — is the basis of a search for a community. Imposing the intimate scale of a household on the broad perspective of the planet creates a new way of looking at these relationships. Perhaps such a filter will allow us to look at them with care, that is with a responsibility for our own place, power and violence within the community and within the environment shared with those whom we might not know yet.

Artists: Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Alan Butler, Carolina Caycedo, Czekalska & Golec, Agnes Denes, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Diana Lelonek, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Tamás Kaszás, Teresa Murak, Christine Ödlund, Artavazd Peleshian, Jerzy Rosołowicz, Alicja Rogalska, Sin Kabeza Productions (Cheto Castellano & Lissette Olivares), Zhou Tao, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, Monika Zawadzki oraz Dobrawa Borkała, Edyta Jarząb.

Graphic design: Gra-Fika

The exhibition is prepared in cooperation with the Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst in Oldenburg, it is the next stage of the project initiated there.