Arts & Entertainment

Zero-carbon art show in Uruguay invites visitors to imagine a different world

Montevideo, Aug 25 (EFE).- Showcasing the connection between different environmental problems ranging from hydric stress to biodiversity loss to food sovereignty problems is the goal of “Imagining a Different World,” a carbon-free itinerant art exhibit.

The exhibition includes works by 16 artists and collectives and is created locally with the “most sustainable materials possible” in each venue, curator Blanca de la Torre told Efe of a public art showing that has arrived in Uruguay after stops in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador and Peru.

“The transportation footprint in culture in general, and especially in art exhibits, is extremely high. It’s enormous. By avoiding all that transporting of artwork, I’ve resolved my conflicts,” De la Torre said of an exhibit that will be on display at the Cultural Center of Spain in Montevideo until Oct. 24.

De la Torre, whose work focuses on the connections between art and ecology, said this exhibition format enables “a certain coherence between the discourse and the way the exhibition is carried out.”

Her reflections during the pandemic on the lockdowns and the resulting short-term positive impact on the environment served as inspiration for the exhibit.

But now that the worst of the pandemic is receding human beings find themselves at a turning point, De la Torre said, adding that the purpose of the exhibit is to analyze the “ecosocial crisis” and understand how we got here.

“Imagining a Different World” also aims to foster greater cross-species empathy and awareness of the historical and colonial origins of the current climate crisis.

In addition, the exhibit takes into account “artists’ capacity to propose alternatives, visualize other possibilities for building a different world,” the curator explained.

While all of the works have a clear conceptual message that is maintained across the different countries, the use of local products and highlighting of specific situations in each territory makes for a different exhibition in each venue.

In Uruguay, the works offer reflection on real cases such as an open-pit mining project in the country’s interior that was eventually scuttled and an oil spill off the coast of the southeastern city of Maldonado in late 2018.

They also map out the transportation of cattle between Montevideo and Barcelona, Spain, and show the growth of native plant species such as the pata de vaca (Bauhinia forficata) and palo cruz (Guettarda uruguayensis).

Other pieces include a giant curtain made of plastic waste, a hut that pays tribute to local architecture and a work of audiovisual poetry centered on a monarch butterfly. EFE


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