The time has come

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art answers the call for new directions in art and ecology

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030—2100 exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 Photo: Dmitry Shumov © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030—2100 exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 Photo: Dmitry Shumov © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Allora & Calzadilla, Graft, 2019 Installation view, Garage Square, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow Photo: Ivan Erofeev © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Allora & Calzadilla, Graft, 2019 Installation view, Garage Square, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow Photo: Ivan Erofeev © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

“The time has come to change our understanding of the environment. The more we think of nature as independent from us, the more we distance ourselves from the changing world. Humans are a part of the ecosystem, meaning our everyday activities shape our future.”

For weeks, these provocative words were used as a place-holder webpage, with a countdown clock to the opening of “The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics, 2030-2100” at UBS Partner, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

One of the most powerful premises of this exhibition is that ecology, as a topic and as a global emergency, can bring together all humans, regardless of language, religion or nationality.

The exhibition includes works by more than 50 international artists. “Graft”, a site-specific installation by UBS Art Collection artists Allora & Calzadilla, is one of the highlights of “The Coming World”. The artwork consists of thousands of artificial Caribbean flower blossoms, scattered on the lawn facing Garage. It is an aesthetically pleasing but subtly alarming vision. The uncanny, year-round presence of the blossoms in such a different and geographically distant ecosystem can also be seen as a reminder of the radical changes that global ecology is facing. 

Another immersive installation by UBS Art Collection artist Doug Aitken, titled “The Garden”, invites visitors to enter an artificially recreated ecosystem and do what they please, including destroying it. It is a potential “Anger-Room” that forces visitors to acknowledge and observe the consequences of their actions. Will the garden get completely annihilated? Or rather enjoyed, cared for and respected?

“The Coming World” is accompanied by an extensive public program transforming the museum in a forum for experts, scientists, activists, ecology theorists, and practitioners, discussing new models of education, consumption, production, and leisure.

At a time when each of us is faced with taking action and assuming responsibility for our impact on global ecology, the idea of togetherness seems more relevant than ever.

UBS and sustainable fashion brand Bottletop have partnered on a new initiative #TOGETHERBAND raising funds via the sale of wear-and-share bands made of recycled ocean plastic and Humanium, a metal obtained by melting illegal weapons. Funds are being devolved to non-profit organizations invested in contributing to one or more of the 17 United Nations’ Global Goals.

The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030-2100 will be open from 28 June to 1 December 2019 at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia.

UBS is Gold Patron of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.