Opening: 15. 12. 2022 at 6 pm
Exhibition duration: 16. 12. 2022 – 4. 5. 2023 (extended)
Curators: Lenka Kukurová, Verena Tintelnot
Alžbetina 22, Košice
The exhibition Earthrise! is an artistic commentary on the relationship between people and the environment and, simultaneously, an appeal for change. Košice artist Oto Hudec, as a resident of the planet Earth, presents in the exhibition works created over the past five years in Slovakia and Georgia, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Cape Verde Islands.
The exhibition's title refers to a photograph of Earth taken during spaceflight in 1968 that captures the moon's surface with "Earth rising" on the horizon. The artist plays with the meaning of the English word and, by adding an exclamation point, calls for the Earth to rise up, putting it in the center of attention and, at the same time, calling for its active protection.
Planet Earth also appears in the exhibition as a large-scale sculpture of a whale that swims through space and carries houses as a sign of human civilization. This symbolic work draws attention to the transience and fragility of the human species compared to the length of the development of life on the planet and the interconnection of people with other organisms.
Oto Hudec also reacts to the climate disaster and confronts us with apocalyptic images. Scenarios of melting glaciers, drought, and fauna without a chance of survival prove that climate change, which previously seemed distant, is already present. Hudec is never just a disinterested observer in his work. The video Back to where I belong and the coal mascot bring viewers directly into the devastated land and allow them to experience its suffering.
Although in the poetic video Concert for the Adishi Glacier, Hudec plays a song on a stringed instrument and harmonica to the dying glacier (thus expressing his connection with it), his work is not only romantic. In the large-scale dystopian installation and the video Wave in front of the garden, the artist shows the final days of a civilization that Etel Adnan, in her last book, Shifting the Silence, describes as cavemen in space capsules.
Despite the atmosphere of the end of the world, in both the large-scale painting and in the video at the end of the exhibition, we will encounter a silent proposal of how it would be possible to exist on Earth in coexistence and not in a conflict between humans and nature.
Supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. Co-financed by the State Budget of the Slovak Republic.