Venice, Fondazione Prada: Everybody Talks About the Weather

Not to be missed... What do we mean by the expression talking about the weather?
It almost seems a futile and sterile commonplace, a narrative expedient, a dialogue which allows the speaker to keep the distance from the interlocutor… However, nowadays talking about the weather becomes a compelling necessity, taking into consideration the disasters that weather is causing all over the world, the continuous debates about global warming and climate change that are possible indicators of the fact that our Earth is collapsing towards the fateful point of no return. As a consequence, the climate is not only a way to fill an ordinary conversation, but a real necessity to draw attention on the crisis we are facing and on the most terrible and disastrous danger that human kind has ever known.
So the title of the beautiful exhibit at the Prada Foundation, Everybody Talks About the Weather, is in itself genial and critical at the same time. The curator, Dieter Roelstraete, states that the world of art seems not to care that much about this important issue: everybody talks about the weather everywhere except in the art sphere!

A “Meteorological” Vision of Art

The exhibit is organised starting from this critical issue, and the artists have been chosen among those who try to redirect in a creative way all what tends to paralyse because of its destructive potential.
Transformation of the environmental disaster into beauty is what happens as we observe the works of art displayed: the delicacy and the intensity of what we can admire in this exhibit prevent us from feeling excessive discouragement and open a glimmer of optimism and light on the future.
Roelstraete then suggests a “meteorological” vision of art, so that we can continue to talk about the weather as a way to think the unthinkable and to tell about our way of being in the world, exposed to any bad weather.

The Philosophic and Scientific Assumptions

The exhibit takes place on the ground floor and on the second floor of the building; it presents the works of art divided into thematic cores, depending on atmospheric diversity: wind, snow, rain, sun and then desertification, migrations, pollution, raising of the sea level. Art is then intertwined with science, contemporary artworks dialogue with historical ones, revealing the attention of artists all over the world to weather.
Several panels explain not only the origins and the meanings of the works of art, but also their scientific assumptions, with data and graphs elaborated in cooperation with the New Institute Centre For Environmental Humanity (NICHE) of the University of Venice “Ca’ Foscari”.

The Works of Art in the Exhibit

On the ground floor on a large screen the weather forecast from all over the world is transmitted in loop, thus letting the viewer get in the correct climate.
Among the ancient works of art, it was impossible not to present the reproductions of Giorgione’s Tempest, of Pieter Bruegel’s Jägers in de Sneeuw and of the delicious canvas, by an anonymous painter, representing the lagoon covered with ice. And then Claude Monet’s Impression, Soleil Levant dialogues with Sole e Brina by Nomellini.

The frozen lagoon 

Sole e Brina (Nomellini)

The second floor hosts a wonderful work by the Argentine artist Vivian Suter: it consists of canvases without frames, exposed to the sun and to the rain as to absorb the strength ad the colours of the weather.

Untitled (Vivian Suter) 

As a counterpart we then find the large tapestry by Goshka Macuga Who Gave Us a Sponge to Erase the Horizon? which is to be looked at by using 3D glasses.
Giorgio Andreatta Calò presents some rock core drillings which lying on the floor become powerful sculptures if compared with the chromaticism of marble and canvas by Pieter Vermeersch.
Plastic Horizon by Dan Peterman consists of a series or artworks created by means of recycled plastic coming from the oceans: they form several overlapping lines, representing pathetic and yet beautiful plastic horizons.

Plastic Horizon (Dan Peterman)

The evocative video by the Indian artist Himali Singh Soin We Are Opposite Like That is reflected on the water, as to suggest a possible new glaciation.

We Are Opposite Like That (Himali Singh Soin) 

We are waiting for you for visiting together this stunning exhibit at Fondazione Prada in Venice, ciao!

Fan (Nick Raffek)