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Climate Museum: Life and Death of Our Home

@서울시립미술관 본관
2021년 6월 8일-8월 8일


The home for humans, and the home for all things and living beings. Our habitat and the earth's ecology share the same etymology of oikos. Climate Museum: Life and Death of Our Home is an exhibition on the crisis of our large and small homes.

Three kinds of homes, each a thematic section of Climate Museum, are on display. The first is the home for all things: the oikos, the earth’s ecology in the midst of irrevocable disruption. Tragic Oikos houses a series of videos and taxidermy for visitors to see animals starved from the loss of habitat, dying conifer forests spreading from Mt. Halla to Mt Baekdu, ocean deserts along the east coast of Korean peninsula, Antarctica glaciers melting into waterfalls, and the house of data, the fastest growing source of carbon emissions. The second is the human home, in particular the modern Korean houses caught in the constant cycle of building and wrecking. As 40% of the world’s carbon emissions originates from construction, Building-Wrecking focuses on the life cycle of the Korean apartment. The third home in Climate Museum is for bees, birds, and butterflies. Independently from the exhibition schedule and the visitors to the museum, the B-Plex on the museum’s roof terrace is installed from spring, when birds hatch their eggs and raise their young, to early autumn, when wild bees gather pollen and prepare for the winter. Though visits will be limited to protect the bees, birds, and butterflies, everyone will be able to view them through the CCTV and telescope in the museum courtyard. At the boundaries of the three homes – Tragic Oikos, Building-Wrecking, B-Plex – artists, activists, and scientists speak to an array of ecological and civilizational crisis: desertification and planting, melting ice caps and rising sea levels, plastics pollution and recycling, the exploitation of resources and the destructive logic of real estate.

The climate crisis grows ever more serious, showing no sign of relenting. In this situation, an exhibition on climate change is at once timely and uncomfortable. An exhibition inevitably creates consumption, and consumption creates stress on the planet. Climate Museum confronts this uncomfortable truth and looks at the climate crisis from the perspective of the home for art. Deploying re-used copy papers, energy efficient fonts and printing methods to minimize installation waste, the exhibition seeks any and all methods to reduce its own carbon footprint. As Covid-19 accelerates the transformation of all of our homes, Climate Museum asks whether an exhibition that does not place humans at the center is possible. The exhibition is at once conceived as online, offline, and outdoor displays, accessible even when physical entry to the museum is restricted.

Climate Museum: Life and Death of Our Home was curated on the foundation of the research developed through Climate Citizen 3.5, a public art project supported by the Arts Council Korea. Based on the idea that fundamental change can be achieved with the participation of 3.5% of the citizenry, Climate Museum is one moment in a continuous movement to change our consciousness, technology, institutions, and economic system.

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