Erandy Vergara Vargas curates, teaches, and writes on contemporary and media art. Born in Mexico City, based in Montreal. More info

Exhibition: Eco(Systems) of Hope

ARTISTS: Marcela Armas (MX) | Ælab (CA) | Gali Blay et Leila Zelli (US/DE; IR/CA) | Ludovic Boney (CA) | Somme Collective (CA) | Dayna Danger (CA) | Sandrine Deumier (FR) | Rosalie Dumont Gagné (CA) | Gilberto Esparza (MX) | Adriana Knouf (US) | Theresa Schubert et Sage Jenson (DE; US) | François Quévillon (CA)

From October 18th to the 30th, 2022, local and international artists and researchers explore hope, a powerful stimulus for rethinking relationality, community-building and multi-species survival on Earth.

An ecosystem [a series formed by a community of living beings in interaction with each other/their environment] is created by components developed under a dense network of dependencies and exchanges of energy, information and matter, that permit the maintenance and development of life.

This system, which promotes and develops life along with its potentiality, is contingent on every living and non-living part that makes up the system, making each element reliant on the other, as the system is intertwined. This, to us, is a source of hope, as it means that we derive our strength from each other, and a deepened sense of community.

Indeed, interconnections sustain life, and catalyze and foster hope. This foundational thinking model is more important than ever, in the face of the enduring pandemic and active conflicts. With Eco(systems) of Hope, we invite a cross-section of artists and scholars to reflect on world-making, on the technologies used for this creation, on climate responsibility, equity and care. In this generative field that acts as a union of the artistic and academic communities, our exhibition begs the following questions:

How do contemporary artists and thinkers engage with pressing contemporary issues like climate change? What is the inherent difference between what artists produce versus tech developers or scientists? What imaginaries do they invite us to inhabit through their work? What do contemporary artists hope for?

Eco(systems) of Hope
features Canadian and international artists exploring the present ecological moment and creative imaginaries for the future. The art programme engages with two core themes; climate responsibility and equity. Some of the selected works explore these issues through speculation, while others invite us to take action. They also all question what hope means individually and collectively; the differences between the “I” and the “Other(s).”

As for the curatorial approach, the driving idea is to evoke the infinitely large and the infinitely small in order to move away from the Anthropocentric idea that the human scale is the measure (and center) of the universe.

Image credit: Gali Blay et Leila Zelli, About Dam and Hofit (2022)