Majewski is interested in the imaginative potential of art and its ability to tell stories in ways that are open and accountable to diverse audiences. She has invited artists to engage in an ongoing dialogue and present its results in the exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.
How to talk with birds, trees, fish, shells, snakes, lions and bulls takes artists’ interactions with endangered places, societies and environments as points of departure. They investigate how such ecosystems and social structures are enlivened by their inhabitants and what efforts are being made to preserve them. The artistic approaches to our natural and cultural habitats raise questions that will require an answer in the years to come, since the fate of mankind is linked to that of all other inhabitants of the planetary ecosystems. Speaking with the world in its local details implies interacting with it as a whole. Such interaction is inevitably both historical and political.
The artists in this exhibition speak diverse artistic languages from personal positions of dissidence to today’s dominant modes of interaction with the environment – whether feminist, in critique of colonial power structures, and/or by proposing radically non-capitalist ways of interacting with humans, other living beings, and matter. Perpetual diffusion of nature/culture elements, negotiation of inter-species messages and mindfulness of those more vulnerable allow us to notice alternative ways of being with others that are not utopias, but happening right before our eyes.
In this project, art can be understood as a field undergoing a constant process of ephemeral transformation – one in which objects can be animated by an interaction with animals or plants, but also by pedagogical and activist human activities. Ecology in this broad sense implies thinking not only about plants, animals, soil, air, and solar energy, but cities, farmers, children, and the museum itself as well.
A project by Antje Majewski with Agnieszka Brzeżańska & Ewa Ciepielewska, Carolina Caycedo, Paweł Freisler, Olivier Guesselé-Garai, Tamás Kaszás, Otobong Nkanga, Paulo Nazareth, Issa Samb, Xu Tan