Post-Nature – Ca’ Zenobio

Curators: Marente Bloemheuvel and Jaap Guldemond

The desire to be in control of life is one that is probably something particular to humankind. Entreating, imagining, cursing or dreaming, this urge generates new ideas, new perspectives and new possibilities. Art, science, power and commerce are all driven by this desire. This is especially the case in the Netherlands, where the management of nature is a precondition for survival itself, and the landscape and ‘nature’ are almost entirely of human construction.

Now that we are discovering possibilities for ‘stacking’ landscapes, keeping thousands of pigs in apartment-like complexes, planning airports on water, constructing landscapes on the enormous roofs of public buildings, and cloning sheep, issues concerning the desire and the desirability to control and shape reality, play an important role in the current debate.

It were these notions of the possible and impossible that were to be found as a recurring theme, sometimes invisible or unutterable, in the presentation in the Venetian palazzo Ca’ Zenobio. The exhibition Post-Nature showed the work of ten important younger artists from the Netherlands. The 13 rooms of the stunning palazzo Ca’ Zenobio presented film and video works with manipulated images of nature, spatial installations that raised questions about the conditioning that regulates human behaviour, paintings that refered to both 17th-century Dutch landscapes and mediatized landscapes, photographic works that were imbued with a maquette-like quality or maquettes that conjured up the illusion that they were real, computer-generated landscape experiences, and kaleidoscopic enlargements of reality. Post-Nature offered a select overview of recent artistic developments in the Netherlands.

The exhibition was organized on behalf of the Mondriaan Foundation in association with the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

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