Plastic Bottles – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #071 (2007) by Chris JordanLa Galleria Nazionale
Chris Jordan, Plastic Bottles, E Pluribus unum, Carbon
The increase in the population of the planet goes hand in hand with the overproduction of goods and the consequent increase in waste and rubbish: this is the rubbish depicted with eloquent elegance by Chris Jordan in its massiveness.
What's the first thing you think of when I say Hot Spot?
I immediately think of the wave of unconscious fear that is moving through the collective human mind. This fear is manifesting in a thousand different ways, including the rise of fascism in many places and forms at once. This to me is more dangerous than any problem out there.
What is the "hottest" contemporary theme nowadays?
I am intersted in the much-needed evolution that needs to happen in the field of environmental messaging, away from doomsday environmentalism and toward something that is more hopeful. For too long we have been stuck in a broken paradigm that amplifies fear.
How artistic practice can actively influence these issues?
I believe the arts have a key role to play in the healing of our culture. I view the problem of climate change, and other environmental and social issues, not as being the problems; they are symptoms of something deeper, that resides in our mind.
E Pluribus unum, detail – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #003 (2010) by Chris JordanLa Galleria Nazionale
What do you think is the main visitors' feeling in Hot Spot?
I hope they come away with a view of these issues that is more than only about problems and solutions in the physical world. It is crucial to look inward, at the individual and collective psychological issues that keep us stuck in broken and obsolete stories.
Cinque tronchi divisione moltiplicazione – HOT SPOT – Caring For a Burning World #015 (2017-ongoing) by Michelangelo PistolettoLa Galleria Nazionale
Choose a claim for an aesthetic activism manifesto
I believe it is time to reanimate beauty as a foundational inspiring force in the world of art and environmentalism. The emergent beauty of the living world can become a new kind of deeply grounded spirituality, like a north star for humanity to navigate by.
Interview by Giulia Lotti. Photo by Adriano Mura.