The Dilemma of Sustainability

Art without purpose is a sad attempt at beautification. Art needs to be political, revolutionary, it needs to be a criticism, a commentary, at the very least reflective. With that intention and aspiration, we are hoping to curate an exhibition which will bring together an ensemble of artists who are determined to be a part of environmental change and present a path towards sustainability.

It is perhaps the first time that so many variant factors come together. On one hand we have the unification of technology and art in a virtual space, whereas on the other art and artists can play a major role in sustainability—not just on a conceptual level but also in the physicality of the materials and methods employed. We see this in the artworks and the manner in which many of the artists have worked on them.

Desee Art and its team are mounting the show in a non-white cube, experimental space of an auditorium that uses natural light, air and settings with a low carbon imprint and environmentally positive coverage for the artwork. Also employed is an art café and the revitalizing of an entire space that reaches back to the pre-globalization era.

Paul O’Brien in his article “Art, Politics, Environment” writes, “If the dominant political issue in the twentieth century was the conflict between market and state, there is little doubt that this has been supplanted in the twenty-first century by environmental issues, most notably that of global warming.” He further writes, “I believe that what we will see a new paradigm based on the notion of participation, in which art will begin to redefine itself in terms of social relatedness and ecological healing, so that artists will gravitate toward different activities, attitudes and roles than those that operated under the aesthetics of modernism”. These statements resound in our intent with this exhibition since we have not only lived through a horrific Pandemic but also continue to survive each day in this new “normal”.

One must acknowledge the intensity of climate change and our roles within this context. It is a state of emergency and over the years eco art won’t be on the sidelines of the art-world but at the very forefront. It is an inevitable journey and we hope to be a part of this endeavour. The artists are dynamic and belong to diverse backgrounds and bring their own experiences and concerns to the table. The artworks will be in conversation with each other in more than one way since the foundation of each of their concerns are rooted in the same global matter of environmental sustainability.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: – the concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and – the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.

In 2015, the United Nations drew up a set of 17 global goals to combat poverty, inequality, environmental destruction, and more by 2030. These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) representing international collaboration unparalleled in human history – are now adopted by 193 countries.

The 17 SDGs are focused on a wide variety of topics, few of which are: Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water and Life On Land.

This list is something that has been published and discussed internationally and while some of it sounds like a wish-list that is very idealistic, a lot of it is actually absolutely necessary for the survival of our species and the survival of the planet. This art exhibition hopes to give a platform to address issues around the SDG and other important issues arising from the contemplation and practice of an approach that is friendly to our environment and our world.

We are incorporating NFTs as an element of this exhibition.

As the hype around NFTs and actual digital ownership continue to bubble in 2022, high gas fees on Ethereum and environmental factors concerning the creation of NFTs rage on. We, at Desee Art, are leveraging a blockchain to come out with environment focused, environmentally sustainable NFTs. This is Desee Art’s initiative and hope towards a better future, for which we hope to constantly aim for better and deliver. Art, after all, is a revolution.

The Desee Art team is headed by Founder Pulkit Somani. This project is curated by Georgina Maddox an independent Curatorial Consultant. They are assisted by team of Malvika Jha (Junior Curator & Artist manager), Srabasti Halder (Researcher and Content Writer), Tavishi Rai (Digital Marketing Manager), Prarabdh Sharma (NFT SME), Aashti Kazmi (Graphic Designer) Vishu Bhardwaj (Website Development)

Offline location: 27th April 2022 – 5th May 2022, Sangeet Shyamala, Vasant Vihar, Delhi

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