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Wednesday, 20 February 2008 05:00
Sur Polar, Art in AntarcticaWritten by Guest Contributor
By Andrea Juan,
Curator, "Polar South, Art in Antarctica" at the Museum of National University of Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The light is so intense and bright that it modifies the colors throughout the day, while the horizon line blends into a white plane where the sun bounces and never sets.
A deep and vivid feeling seizes us when, at the end of a long voyage, we step on Antarctic soil, a soil covered with fossils. As sea, rock, and time, Antarctica is today the largest natural freshwater reserve for humankind. Being there is to witness a different world on this very same planet, to venture into the wilderness, into a new place that cannot compare with what we already know, with no schedules, no currency, and without the facts of everyday life. We must adapt to the weather and the severity of the freezing gales, where the beauty of the vastness of space and the extreme temperatures are both juxtaposed. A virgin continent operating as an experimental laboratory in every discipline, naturally including culture and art. Our way of thinking changes in Antarctica, which thus becomes an ideal place for the artist’s task.
In May 2004, I began to develop a project to be undertaken in Antarctica, which relied on the support and enthusiasm of the Dirección Nacional del Antártico (Directorate for the Argentine Antarctica) and the Programa Antártico Argentino (Argentine Antarctic Program). It was the starting point for the Art in Antarctica Program, which was joined by other artists pursuing aesthetic research into several disciplines, while combining art and science and thus generating new poetics. Living limit situations, confronting established paradigms, environments originating within the realm of the known, different colors and lights. The artwork starts to vibrate.
For this exhibition I invited artists who have worked on the White Continent. With some of them, we have shared life experiences, and with others distant experiences. From a theoretical viewpoint, Annick Bureaud and Nina Colosi have contributed to this work with their impeccable essays. We attempt to ponder on the calving of large masses of ice due to global warming, on the damage and indifference, on the art from the extremes. Let us imagine ever-lasting icebergs, fossilized remains, zero pollution, expeditions and challenges in a continent of cooperation destined for peace.
Taking art to Antarctica is to remind the world of its frozen seas, its species, and its icebergs, and how important they are for the terrestrial ecosystem. Because art makes us human, this is so and has always been so.
“Polar South – Art in Antarctica” runs from March 5 - April 18, 2008 at the Museum of National University of Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photo by Marcelo Gurruchaga
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