February 25-April 8, 2017
Opening reception: February 25, 7-9pm
Artist talk: February 27, 7-9pm
“But at the risk of sounding anti-human–some of my best friends are human!–I will say that it is not, in the end, what’s most worth attending to. Right now, in the amazing moment that to us counts as the present, we are deciding, without quite meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will be forever closed. No other creature has managed this, and it will, unfortunately, be our most enduring legacy. The Sixth Extinction will continue to determine the course of life long after everything people have written and painted and built has been ground into dust and giant rats have–or have not–inherited the earth.” – Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Liinu Grönlund presents It could have been, a multimedia installation at Open Source Gallery.
It could have been is a video essay; an associative collection of ideas, diary notes and dreamy images combining environmental issues and politics of recent years. The rat, an animal that is controversial, hated, feared and scientifically-used, is in the spotlight. Grönlund became interested in rats after reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a book in which author Elizabeth Kolbert explores human influence on the climate and environment. Over the history of the planet, there have been five major mass extinctions where the biodiversity was suddenly decimated. We are currently in the midst of the sixth mass extinction: the largest since the event that killed the dinosaurs. Throughout history rats have proven to be an effective colonizer, flourishing in each new environment they find and destroying endemic species populations while propagating at rapid rates.
Today corruption and imbalance of power across the globe are painfully obvious dilemmas, yet peace agreements, equality and climate change solutions still seem unreachable. Inspired by rats’ talent for survival and their similarities to humans, It could have been explores the dark fantasy of rats inheriting the earth from humans. Grönlund has spent time observing rats’ behavior, witnessing for herself the adaptability, empathy and intelligence that researchers have shown them to possess. She explores ideas about how to transfer knowledge to another species, reading from her favorite authors to the rats in an effort to make the information immortal. It could have been connects humanity to the natural world, intertwining our future and current events to other possibilities. Linking an alternate history–or prediction of the future–to a feeling of powerlessness, It could have been questions if there is still time and ways to create something alternative, something entirely new, to replace our violent man-made systems that destroy both biodiversity and humanity.
Liinu Grönlund (b. 1984) is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Helsinki. She received her MA in documentary film from the University of Art and Design (Helsinki) and an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Grönlund’s work often takes the form of a poetic film that combine personal experiences, politics and history. She is interested in remoteness and extremes, working together with scientists and activists. Her work has been exhibited at places such as Galleria Huuto (Finland), Finnish Museum of Photography (Finland, curated by Boshko Boskovic) and Studio Voltaire (UK, curated by Jennifer Higgie and Rebecca Warren) among others. Her work has been shown at festivals such as the Savonlinna International Nature Film Festival (Finland), Tampere Film Festival (Finland), Wild-screen (Ireland) and the Yebizo International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions (Japan, curated by Junya Yamamine) among others. Grönlund’s film about scientists working in the vanishing forests of Madagascar will premier in May 2017. In Fall 2017, Grönlund will begin an artist residency with Triangle Arts.
This exhibition is kindly supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, AVEK Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture and Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
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