Exhibition Blue Sun. Conversations on art, science and ecology
Artists: Iulian Bisericaru, Anetta Mona Chișa, Larisa Crunțeanu, Aurora Kiraly, Lise Wulff
Curated by Anja Lückenkemper
Artistic director: Anca Poterașu
On September 27, 1950 the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported a rare phenomenon: „Glasgow, Tuesday - All over Scotland for more than an hour this afternoon people saw a 'blue' sun. (...) The blue hue changed constantly, as though smoke were drifting across the sun. . .“
According to flight reports there were at least two layers of air turbulence over Scotland on that day: a dark layer of dust and sand in the stratosphere, about 13 km high, attributed later to sandstorms and volcanic eruptions, but more curiously a thick layer of ice particles in conspicuously high density within the thin cirrus cloud formation in the troposphere, between 6-9 km high. Now, cirrus clouds are always ice clouds, yet this time scientists speculated the high accumulation of ice had a different cause: a giant chain of forest fires raging in the Canadian Northwest. Ash, the by-product of combustion processes, could have been carried to high altitudes by the rising warm air currents and thus acted as sublimation nuclei in the formation of these ice particles. Distributing wind currents distributed resulting in atmospheric turbidity over the North Atlantic and large parts of Northern and Central Europe. Experts of the time believed that these two layers together filtered out the other colors of the visible solar light spectrum – the color blue remaining predominant –, resulting in sightings of a peculiar Blue Sun.
Nowadays, devastating forest fires have become an annual event not just in Canada, but all over the world – also in areas which were not previously prone to intense fire danger. Recent data (University of Maryland, 2022) shows they are burning nearly twice as much tree cover today as they did 20 years ago. Forest fires are one of the biggest indicators for climate change. But climate change has long affected the world we live in with various palpable consequences: heat weaves, rising sea levels, draughts, floods, species extinction are but a few. Looking at these numbers and statistics, it is not hard to imagine a dystopian – though eerily realistic – future of an ever-burning world. Will we soon live in the age of a perpetual Blue Sun?
In the face of these pressing global issues, of climate and humanitarian crises, ecology and our relationship to the natural world have become a central issue: we need altered ways to relate to the non-human world. Continuing to think in categories and binaries, as established by the Enlightenment, does not seem to provide feasible solutions – and these matters cannot be solved by a single method, we need to engage in transdisciplinary conversations. Our complex world requires different mythologies, changed narratologies, if we want to continue to live in liveable worlds.
There are varied attempts – old and new – to find positive ways to connect with nature, ways to overcome the distance between us and the world, not only by Western researchers and scientists, but also by indigenous thinkers, philosophers, and, most crucially, by artists. At the same time, however, we are reaching the limits of what can be said argumentatively, we are reaching the limits of language, and we need to find a reformulation of what our senses are for. Artists are fundamental in finding new imaginaries and forming new sensory languages. So what can be new entanglements with the non-human world?
How can we overcome the dichotomies and collapse the distance between ourselves and the world that Western thought has introduced? How can we fight for and care for our environment.
The exhibition Blue Sun – Conversations on art, science and ecology invites five artists to sound out new imaginaries. At Timisoara Art Museum, and in selected sites in public space, Iulian Bisericaru, Anetta Mona Chisa, Larisa Crunțeanu, Aurora Kiraly, and Lise Wulff offer contributions to this bigger conversation on relationality. They weave a net of complex storytelling, speculating on and trying out altered ways of being with the world.
ABOUT THE PROJECT ”BLUE SUN. CONVERSATIONS ON ART, SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY”
The project "Blue Sun" consists of an artistic investigation of science, ecology, and our recurring fascination for exploring the ecosystems of our planet. As part of the project, and in conversation with German curator Anja Lückenkemper, Norwegian artist Lise Wulff, together with Romanian artists Iulian Bisericaru, Anetta-Mona Chisa, Larisa Crunțeanu and Aurora Kiraly, created new works during an artist residency in Tromsø, Norway, that conceptually address various ecological phenomena related to climate change, the relationship between human and non-human worlds and the deterioration of the ecosystem of which we are a part.
The project “Blue Sun – Conversation on art, science, and ecology” benefits from a 93960 Euro grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants.
Project promoter: New Gallery Association
Partners: Lise Wulff, Romanian Association for Contemporary Art, Muzeul Național de Artă Timișoara, Consiliul Județean Timiș, Societatea de Transport Public Timișoara, Fundația Triade, Universitatea de Vest Timișoara.
Media partner: Revista Arta.