For the duration of the 59th Biennale Arte di Venezia, 23 April to 27 November 2022, Parasol unit will present Uncombed, Unforeseen, Unconstrained, a group exhibition of works by eleven international contemporary visual artists at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello in Venice.
The exhibition brings together diverse and thought-provoking works and includes some interdisciplinary collaboration between music and visual art. The artists, Darren Almond, Oliver Beer, Rana Begum with Hyetal, Julian Charrière, David Claerbout, Bharti Kher, Arghavan Khosravi, Teresa Margolles, Si On, Martin Puryear, and Rayyane Tabet, all work in different media to address a disparate range of topics. Yet, common to them all is a deep concern for our world and a preoccupation with a comparable phenomenon that in scientific terms is defined as entropy, that is the measure of disorder, randomness, and unpredictability within a system.
In their practices, these artists have independently identified and poignantly responded to various unfavourable phenomena that over recent decades have gradually reached a level of overwhelming significance in our day-to-day life, environment and within our social and collective history. Many of the issues – such as environmental pollution, global warming, racism, political activism, health hazards, uncontrolled globalisation, unregulated digitalisation, excess and waste, widespread greed, a rampant thirst for power and the disproportionate accumulation of wealth – are largely due to the activities of Earth’s own inhabitants, which are seriously threatening life on the planet and putting at risk even a minimum requirement for peace and harmony in the world.
Understood within the second law of thermodynamics, entropy became known to us thanks to the research of physicist Rudolf Clausius (1822–1888), who in 1865 introduced the concept to the scientific world. One particularity of entropy is that it can reach a dangerous level when external conditions, such temperature, pressure, and information overload continue to increase over time. Under such circumstances, the molecules within a system become sufficiently animated to act freely and unpredictably, and thereby cause chaos and irreversible impairment.
Looking back at the history of humanity and its activities within our environment, we realise that the level of entropy has never been as high as we experience it today, which does not reflect well on us. We, the residents of this world, seem to have been slowly but surely plundering Earth’s natural resources almost to a point of no return, without accountability or taking responsibility for the damage and its repair. In doing so, we have endangered the well-being and survival of all living species. The exhibiting artists, despite their heightened awareness of and critical stance towards the enormous harm being done to our planet by we humans, all strive with acuity and unbiased minds to highlight some of the substantial problems in the hope of re-opening a door to the future.
Curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Parasol unit, the exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive full-colour publication and limited editions by the artists.