Cosmopolis #2: rethinking the human
Adriana Bustos et alii
23.10.19 | 23.12.19
According to its website, Cosmopolis is a platform that “focuses on research-based, collaborative, and interdisciplinary contemporary art practices” through residencies, exhibitions, and publications. Created by the Centro Pompidou in 2016 and directed by Kathryn Weir, it participates in a “resurgence of interest in cosmopolitical approaches.” To that end, it engages artists who work on the production of relationships and the exchange of knowledge. In 2017, Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence, held in Paris, formulated new modes of artistic collaboration. Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence, in Chengdu in 2018, imagined ways the community might appropriate artificial intelligence media and cultivate ecological awareness.
In 2019, Cosmopolis #2: rethinking the human presented, in the Centro Pompidou, constellations of works that explore technological diversity and the relationships between place and geographic scale. The exhibition argued that most people have been excluded from the universal formulation of the “human” and, the website goes on, the project “connects these questions to artistic explorations of the entanglement of the human and the non-human.” Cosmopolis #2 critically considered how “The European Renaissance fashioned ‘Man’ to the exclusion of women and non-Christians […]. By the 18th century, these formulations of humanity were integral to a ‘civilizing’ ideology that linked the idea of ‘progress’ to technology’s capacity to improve living conditions. European conceptions of the human were promoted within regimes of expropriation of resources, labour and reproductive capability. This project of modernity […] is today brought into question as one among the many possible histories.”
In this framework, Adriana Bustos (Córdoba, 1965)—thanks to the support of the Institut Français and the French Embassy in Argentina, as well as the Diálogo Franco Argentino program—traveled to Paris to produce Planisferio Venus (Planisphere Venus), an in-situ mural painting that forms part of her “Vision Machine” project. Formally, the work is a celestial planisphere, an instrument to read the sky from any point on Earth. Bustos chose a particular sky, however: the sky over Jerusalem at the first hour of the first day of the first month of the first year in the Christian Era. That moment marked, the artist explains, “the official beginning of history for the Western world.” Her planisphere presents “an alternative world that bears in mind the feminine part of humanity—not only women, but an idea that goes beyond the biological fact of gender. The map proposes a world more organic and intuitive, less rational and scientific. The women portrayed played an important role in Latin American independence movements and in defending minority rights. The names of the stars have been replaced by an array of concepts, ideas, and information related to the history of feminism, colonialism, and the invention of the idea of ‘race.’”
Contenido producido por arteBA. Memoria anual de arte argentino contemporáneo.