Gideon Mendel, photo series – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #007 by Gideon MendelLa Galleria Nazionale
On 11 August 2021, the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe occurred in Siracusa, Italy: 48.8°C. The record was just a foretaste of what would happen the following summer: severe heatwaves in Europe, India, Pakistan, China, the United States, and the entire northern hemisphere. Extreme and persistent warming caused not only thousands of deaths but also droughts and forest fires with serious consequences. However, such events were also indicators of broader, structural ecological disasters.
Installation View – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #094 (2022)La Galleria Nazionale
The climate fluctuates between the two extremes of fire and water, as can be seen in the exhibition’s juxtaposition of works by Mona Hatoum and Pier Paolo Calzolari. Droughts, downpours, overheating, melting glaciers, snowstorms: everything seems extreme, contradictory and out of proportion. The climate, we often say, has gone mad. Glaciers melt into waters that flood coastlines, submerge islands and cause mass migration. Water can be as indispensable as it is catastrophic.
Installation View – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #050 (2022)La Galleria Nazionale
Its destructive power is made evident both realistically and metaphorically in the video of Kim Juree's 'flooded' sculptures, where clay architecture disintegrates in water. Floods, such as the recent ones in China and Pakistan, are on the rise and scientists believe they are due to climate change.
Gideon Mendel, photo series – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #008 by Gideon MendelLa Galleria Nazionale
The increasing number and severity of floods are tellingly portrayed by Gideon Mendel in photographs he has taken around the world. Midway between documentary and fiction, their impact is enhanced through his aesthetic approach.
Installation View – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #048 (2022)La Galleria Nazionale
The lyricism of the gravity-defying, ever-rising waters in Ange Leccia's striking video could be taken as threatening if seen in terms of rising sea levels and flooding. Climate change can also lead to a change in the way we interpret works of art, and this is the aim of the exhibition.
Installation View – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #138 (2022)La Galleria Nazionale
There is a mutual relationship between climate and society. Natural disasters mean that migration is no longer only economic or comprising people fleeing from war zones but also due to environmental problems. Sometimes it is because the land where people live simply disappears or is destroyed. The worsening of this phenomenon, especially due to the melting poles, threatens the future of many coastal and island populations.
Installation View – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #135 (2022)La Galleria Nazionale
There are already millions of climate refugees, a new and growing global problem. Our planet is red-hot, as Hatoum shows us in the work that gives the exhibition its name. The Earth is in this state because of global warming, but also because of the serious social dilemmas that afflict it and that have demonstrated the failure of modernity and the very chance of humanity developing harmoniously in its environment.
Installation View – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #161 (2022)La Galleria Nazionale
The two issues are closely interconnected: ecological problems that compromise the health and even the very existence of the Earth are linked with the mindless use of power by corporations and governments, giving rise to criminal recklessness of global proportions.
Primate – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #002 (2009) by Daphne WrightLa Galleria Nazionale
The intolerable level of exploitation of the planet's resources, pollution, and other growing ills are associated with the abuse of vulnerable human groups. This is driven by individualism, the logic of profit, the squandering of resources, consumerism, and other dystopian social behaviours, without concern for their dire consequences and sustained by economic and social inequality.
Written by Gerardo Mosquera. Photo by Adriano Mura.