Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
August 17, 2008–February 1, 2009
UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
April 1–September 27, 2009
Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet is organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), in partnership with the international conservation organization Rare.
Human/Nature is a pioneering artist residency and collaborative exhibition project that, for the first time on this scale, uses contemporary art to investigate the relationships between fragile natural environments and the human communities that depend upon them. This collaborative multi-year exhibition project sent eight leading artists to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe to create new work informed and inspired by their experiences in these diverse cultural and natural regions. The exhibition features new commissioned, site-specific works by Mark Dion, Ann Hamilton, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Rigo 23, Dario Robleto, Diana Thater, and Xu Bing created in response to their travels to these threatened sites.
MCASD David C. Copley Director Hugh M. Davies remarked, “This dynamic group of groundbreaking contemporary artists continually creates thoughtful works that push the boundaries of what art is. For Human/Nature, the artists are producing engaging works that prompt viewers to question their relationships to the world in which we live.”
The artists each traveled to a World Heritage site of their choice and completed two or more mini-residencies, creating works based on their experiences. Through a wide range of works that cross all media, Human/Nature encourages global support for the protection of cultural and biological diversity and provokes new questions regarding conservation, cultural understanding, and artistic inspiration.
“If we are going to effect change, it must be a concerted effort between people in the arts, in the sciences, and people working directly towards a better future for our planet. This is where Human/Nature positions itself as a model for change: artists working together with the communities and individuals most concerned with the fate of these World Heritage sites. These collaborations create hope for the future,” stated Jacquelynn Baas, director emeritus of BAM/PFA.
“Some of the world’s most remote developing areas contain the highest levels of natural resources—the forests, species, and waterways that provide global life support and whose loss will impact all of our futures,” said Brett Jenks, president and CEO of Rare. “One of our biggest challenges is bringing the natural and cultural riches of these faraway communities to life for audiences here in the U.S., so we are grateful to the artists in this exhibition and to the museums who are making this possible. I look forward to expanding the dialogue with new audiences on the future of our planet.”