ExhibitionGaia in the Anthropocene

Sjoerd Kloosterhuis

In the last decades we became aware of the unmistakable influence humans exert on the condition of the earth. We are the ones who largely determine the future of our planet. This places us in an unpleasant powerful position that is accompanied by an immense responsibility. Paradoxically, we also face growing unpredictability and uncontrollability of nature. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and extreme droughts appear to occur more and more often. The recent discovery of the worldwide mysterious decline of insects is another frightening example. In spite of all our enlightenment ideals, our worldview is becoming increasingly dystopic.

Gaia in the Anthropocene stems from the idea that this fearsome development raises the desire for an approach to life and our environment based on alternative values, to both offer an escape from the disheartened and startling reality and to construct a renewed relation with our planet. An approach that recognizes emotions, intuition, faith and myths that envision an ensouled nature. The exhibition is in line with the growing attention to nature-related myths in contemporary art. The selected artists each explore in their own way the possibilities of myths. By acknowledging the merits of the non-rational and by using fiction to offer alternative perspectives on our surroundings they reflect on new connections between mankind and nature. The exhibition is therewith also a place where the visitor can withdraw from reality.