CHICAGO, IL—The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will present selections from The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 at EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, taking place at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall from September 19–22. This partnership will mark the first time the renowned Russian museum exhibits in the United States and will feature works by four internationally acclaimed artists: Kim Abeles, Dan Perjovschi, Alexander Obrazumov, and Denis Sinyakov.
“We are inspired by this innovative exhibition curated by Garage, and thankful to artists who are using their incredible skills highlight critical environmental issues,” said Elizabeth Corr, Art & Cultural Partnerships, NRDC. “EXPO CHICAGO coincides with the UN Climate Change Summit, and NRDC’s partnership with Garage underscores the need for swift climate action at a global scale.”
“The Coming World coincided with a noticeable surge in interest in the ecological agenda in Russia,” said Ekaterina Lazareva, one of the show’s curators. “Today Russian art is waking up to ecological themes and, consequently, becoming a unique domain for discussion, experimentation, and action. We are thrilled to showcase our exhibit on this global stage.”
“We have come to expect thought-provoking and engaging exhibits from NRDC, and this year is no exception,” said Tony Karman, President and Director of EXPO CHICAGO. “We are inspired by this unique international partnership and feel honored to have the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago for EXPO CHICAGO.”
On Saturday, September 21 at 12 pm, NRDC and Garage will host “NO PLAN(ET): Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100,” a panel discussion part of the EXPO CHICAGO /Dialogues program, about the climate crisis and how art is a powerful tool to initiate dialogue, inspire involvement and increase awareness. The panel will feature Ekaterina Lazareva and Andrew Wetzler, Nature Program director at NRDC, among others.
Be sure to visit Garage and NRDC in Booth #419 at EXPO CHICAGO. In the meantime, learn more about the artists and artwork here:
- In 1987, Kim Abeles, a Los Angeles based artist, innovated a method to create images from the smog in the air for her work, Smog Collectors—which is a visual materialization of the air we breathe. For The Coming World, Kim created a new series of porcelain plates representing smog portraits of ten present-day political leaders and their quotes on environmental issues. The set, currently exhibited at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, was made with smog from Moscow, while the one to be presented in Chicago was created with smog from Los Angeles.
- Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi’s drawings have been widely disseminated, from the walls of museums to the pages of newspapers. For The Coming World, Perjovschi addresses the urgency of the state of our environment with minimalist but forceful slogans by employing wordplay to draw out the “Eco” in “Economy,” or “Plan” as part of “Planet.” Perjovschi’s work will be presented in mural form and in limited-edition take-away posters at EXPO CHICAGO.
- In Karma, Russian artist Alexander Obrazumov investigates the daily rituals of corporate spaces and the way they reflect the collective unconscious of office culture. This installation explores the consumer trends inspired by green marketing: healthy lifestyle, superfoods, organic and ecological produce. Illogical pairings of objects found in a contemporary office—upside-down lamps filled with artificial grass, superfoods in liquid soap dispensers—invite us to review the new habits of “mindfulness” as unconscious attempts to earn karma points and buy peace of mind in the face of a global ecological crisis.
- Created by Moscow-based photojournalist and artist Denis Sinyakov, The Landscape with Birches shows an image that is as beautiful as it is disturbing. Created in fall 2018 in Buryatia, this landscape looks almost metaphysical, as if untouched by humans. But the dramatic charring on the trees is there to remind us that forest fires are usually not natural disasters but caused by human activities.
Curated by Snejana Krasteva and Ekaterina Lazareva, Garage curators.
About the Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
About Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is a place for people, art, and ideas to create history. Through an extensive program of exhibitions, events, education, research, and publishing, the institution reflects on current developments in Russian and international culture, creating opportunities for public dialogue, as well as the production of new work and ideas in Moscow. At the center of all these activities is the Museum’s collection, which is the first archive in the country related to the development of Russian contemporary art from the 1950s through the present. Founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich, Garage is the first philanthropic organization in Russia to create a comprehensive public mandate for contemporary art and culture. Open seven days a week, it was initially housed in the renowned Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage in Moscow, designed by the Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov.
About The Coming World
The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 is a major exhibition that brings together historical and new works by over 50 Russian and international artists and occupies the entire Garage facility. It takes a look at a future already in the making, when the environmental agenda will become one of the main political questions. The exhibition alludes to a compressed period of time starting from the not too distant future, when the human race will be forced to live with the final knowledge that “there is no planet B,” through to future imagined in the past, in which humans were expected to progress sufficiently to be able to settle on other planets. The exhibit is on display in Moscow until December 1, 2019. Learn more at garagemca.org.
About EXPO CHICAGO
Opening the fall art season each September, EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art features leading international galleries alongside one of the highest quality platforms for contemporary art and culture. Hosted within Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, EXPO CHICAGO’s eighth edition will take place September 19–22, 2019, in alignment with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial (September 19, 2019–January 5, 2020). EXPO CHICAGO presents a diverse program, including /Dialogues (presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and Exchange by Northern Trust: An Interactive Conversation Around the Art of Collecting, unrivaled talks programs for both public and VIP audiences; IN/SITU, dynamic on-site installations highlighting large-scale sculpture, film, and site-specific work; and major public art initiatives, including IN/SITU Outside, public art installed throughout Chicago Park District locations, and OVERRIDE, a curated selection of international artists throughout the city’s digital billboard network. The EXPO CHICAGO program also features an unprecedented commitment to host curatorial initiatives during the exposition, including the Curatorial Forum in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI), and the Curatorial Exchange, which partners with foreign agencies and consulates to expand the exposition’s global reach. EXPO CHICAGO is the publisher of THE SEEN, Chicago’s only international journal of contemporary and modern art criticism, online and in print.
EXPO CHICAGO is presented by Art Expositions, LLC. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base. For more information on EXPO CHICAGO and EXPO ART WEEK (September 16–22, 2019) visit expochicago.com.