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Our Ecology: Toward a Planetary Living
Emilija Škarnulytė
Sunken Cities 2021
Video installation 9 min. 33 sec.

Our Ecology: Toward a Planetary Living

How Does Contemporary Art Respond to the Environmental Crisis?

Emilija Škarnulytė » Monira Al Qadiri » Martha Atienza » Julian Charrière » Ian Cheng » Ali Cherri » Agnes Denes » Jef Geys » Hans Haacke » Pierre Huyghe » Jochen Lempert » Ana Mendieta » Apichatpong Weerasethakul » & others

Exhibition: 18 Oct 2023 – 31 Mar 2024

Mori Art Museum

6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
106-6150 Tokyo



Sun-Thu 10-22 . Fri, Sat 10-24

Our Ecology: Toward a Planetary Living
Hans Haacke
Monument to Beach Pollution (detail from Untitled, 1968-1972/2019) 1970
Digital C-print
33.7 x 50.8 cm
Courtesy: Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
© Hans Haacke / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The impact of humanity on our planet since the industrial revolution is said to match that of the thousands of preceding years of geological change. The environmental crisis is a challenge of utmost urgency, and right now an important theme on the international art scene.

Our Ecology will feature four chapters of diverse expression courtesy of an impressive lineup of international artists, from historical works to a number commissioned especially for the exhibition. The first chapter, “All Is Connected,” touches upon the complex intertwining of environment and/or ecosystems with human political and economic activity. The next chapter, titled “Return to Earth,” reexamines works by Japanese artists from the 1950s to 1980s, decades in which pollution formed a dark downside to the country’s rapid economic growth. The third chapter, “The Great Acceleration,” introduces works revealing the exploitation of the Earth’s resources by mankind, while at the same time offering a kind of hope. The fourth and final chapter, “The Future Is within Us,” is devoted to today’s diverging discussion around utilizing ancient as well as cutting-edge technologies for drafting possible futures through artistic expressions of activism, indigenous wisdom, feminism, AI and collective intelligence (CI), and also spirituality.

Above all, the title Our Ecology: Toward a Planetary Living asks who we are, and to whom the Earth’s environment belongs, and the exhibition urges us to think about environmental problems and other issues not only from an anthropocentric perspective, but also by looking at the Earth’s multiple ecologies from a broader, more comprehensive standpoint. This sustainable exhibition, designed to reduce the use of transport to a minimum by reusing and recycling as many resources as possible, will make the Mori Art Museum a place to contemplate how contemporary art and artists have to date engaged with environmental issues, and how they can continue to do so in the future.

Our Ecology: Toward a Planetary Living
Martha Atienza
Adlaw sa mga Mananagat 2022 (Fisherfolks Day 2022)
2022 Video, silent
45 min. 44 sec. (loop)
Production support: Han Nefkens Foundation, Mondriaan Fund, and Shane Akeroyd
Commission: The 17th Istanbul Biennial
Courtesy: Silverlens, Manila/New York