CARBON 12 – Cape Farewell exhibition in Paris
ART AND CLIMATE CHANGE
4 May – 16 September 2012
Espace Fondation EDF, Paris, France
With the “CARBON 12, Art and Climate Change” exhibition, the EDF Foundation
opens its spaces to CAPE FAREWELL in order to exhibit the findings of a new project
lead by the British association.
Involving five teams of scientists and artists, showing works specifically created for the
exhibition, Carbon 12 aims to build a bridge between contemporary art and
climatology around the central role carbon plays in current ecological evolutions.
Carbon has always served as a base material for artists to draw with. It is a
fundamental element for life and the main cause of the greenhouse effect,
determinant of our future climate survival. It is logical therefore that it is the title of the
exhibition presented by the EDF Foundation.
How to think about, and represent, climate change?
How to initiate a reflection for a cross dialogue between artists and scientists?
CARBON 12 seeks to enrich the research of both parties and to renew public
curiosity. David Buckland, founder of Cape Farewell, is the curator of Carbon 12.
Referring to the sea, land and air, the exhibited works are related to biodiversity,
oceanography, and maritime energy technologies. They illustrate the complexity of
climate change at the core of multiple disciplines.
It is on this multidisciplinary basis that the artist and exhibition curator David Buckland
conceived a new understanding of climate change:
A large work by David Buckland representing a chalk cliff, illustrates his response to
the research led by Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez (National Oceanography Centre, UK)
on the Arctic coccolithophores’ role in the absorption of carbon and the
acidification of the oceans.
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Technologies of maritime energy
With the help of drawings, installations and sculptures, the British artist Annie Cattrell
reformulates research on the ocean’s role in energy production, the use of the swell
and operation of submarine turbines led by Mark C. Bell (ICIT/Herriot-Watt University,
UK) and Simon Boxall (National Oceanography Centre, UK).
With “Domestic Disaster 3: Planet Earth”, HeHe (a duo formed by Helen Evens and
Heiko Hansen) recreates a miniaturized polluted atmosphere placed on a world
map. Colourful and artificial, animated by a slow and steady movement,
accompanied by a sound choreography, this atmosphere echoes the research on
fluid dynamics led by Jean-Marc Chomaz (CNRS, Laboratoire LadHyX, France).
The damage to the biodiversity of forests
Lucy + Jorge Orta, in resonance with findings made by Professor Yadvinder Malhi
(Environmental Change Institute Oxford, UK), will show a wall of photographs of
flowers, digitally reworked, taken during their expedition to the Peruvian Amazon in
2009. Three showcases containing moulded sculptures recall the primary role – as
carbon trap – of the Amazonian biodiversity for the ecological balance of the
A series of photographs and a video created by the American artist Erika
Blumenfeld, who worked with Michael Latz (researcher in maritime bioluminescence,
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA) underline the fundamental role of
phytoplankton in the cycle of oxygen’s renewal (up to 50%).
An accessible and educational scenography, videos conceived in close
collaboration with scientists, as well as documentaries on Cape Farewell’s work, will
allow all members of the public to learn more about the scientific elements involved
in the completion of the different works of art.