The international group exhibition Possessed Landscapes deals with the artistic representation of landscape, but not in its art historical depiction as a place of recreation, as an allegorical tool, or as a stand-
International Archives 1st half of 2020
The exhibition’s title, Possessed Landscapes, points to the ways in which Indigenous concepts of land as inhabited by ancestors are being displaced by industry’s possession of land through boundless extraction, creating a widespread landscape of greed and disconnect.
The invited artists each engage with land that has been transformed by industrial extraction technologies to such a radical extent that the adaptation to these changes by the people who live there is unavoidable. Those who inhabit these dystopic landscapes often appear as foreign bodies—a position they have usually have been forced into. That is, the exploitation of the landscapes depicted in the included artworks often begins with the expropriation of land and the disenfranchisement of the people living there.
At the centre of the exhibition is the newly commissioned work by the Uzbek German artist Viktor Brim, which investigates one of the largest diamond mines in the world, the Mir in Yakutia, Russia. In Brim’s Imperial Machine (2020), a continuum is drawn between the resource policies of Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union and Vladimir Putin’s Russian Federation, particularly through the Mir diamond mine and particularly in their colonialist strategies. The work combines a film that Brim shot on location, a site-
Exhibition January 30 -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2020. All Rights Reserved
Viktor Brim, Dark Matter (film still), 2020. Courtesy to the artist.
Rachel O’Reilly’s Gas Imaginary (2013-
The exhibition also focuses on the juxtaposition of propaganda imagery that portrays industrial exploitation as an “adventure” story (such as the sales pitches of both the fracking industry and Russia’s diamond mining project) with the artists’ representations of the relations by which these landscapes—both social and environmental—were born.
Zhou Tao’s film Fán Dòng (The Worldly Cave) (2017) pictures various locations across the globe. The video—which has no script or narrative—portrays people and animals adapting to life amid changing conditions, as well as a landscape in constant transformation. The landscapes of Fán Dòng appear somehow synthetic, and the depicted organic life and the experiences of bodies moving within these technologically developed infrastructures seamlessly intertwine as they individually and collectively undergo an incessant transformation of sorts.
Karikpo Pipeline (2015), a five-
The works in Possessed Landscapes, spanning site-