Deutsche Version unten

23 April – 12 May 2024

Penelope Cain | Disrupted Landscapes

@ Toni Areal, Room 5.K09, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zurich
Opening: Tuesday, 23 April 2024, 19:00 pm

Multimedia exhibition by Penelope Cain
Curated by Elif Carrier

Open daily 10 am – 8 pm
at  Toni Areal, Galerie 2 (5.K09)
Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zurich

Landscape in its widest definition is central to Cain`s practice. She is drawn to the nineteenth century geographic term, Kulturlandschaft; a landscape marked by human culture, bearing the manifesting residues and remains of our cultural, physical, and economic presence on the land. This is the inhabited, territorialized, extracted, and transformed landscape of the post-colonial Anthropocene.

The exhibition Disrupted Landscapes, a multimedia exhibition with videos, wallpapers, photos and text, takes the viewers away from the concrete walls of Toni Areal building blocks where the exhibition takes place, into the landscapes of this planet;  to the largest ice cap of the world in Central Andes, Peru, to an industrial freezer in the outskirts of Copenhagen, to the world’s largest silver mine in Bolivia, into another journey to witness a multispecies love story of a lichen, a unique structure of multiple organism, made of algae and fungus, and then to the sound of the magnificent lyrebirds, masters of mimicking and dance, the oral historians of the forest, alongside the burned down forest of Blue Mountain National park in New South Wales, Australia resurging from death.

These journeys are parts of Cain’s non-linear storytellings and they involve more than the entanglements of humans in forms of disruption. They involve caring collaborations between climatologists, glaciologists, anthropologists, landscape researchers and the communities of the landscapes she works with. They involve scientific and artistic methodologies to ponder upon better futures and revitalizations and they involve learnings from resilient non-human habitants of the landscapes on how to survive in endangered ecosystems.

As Anna Tsing wrote in her book, The Mushroom at the End of the World, “The sustainability of nature, he said, never just falls into place; it must be brought out through that human work that also brings out our humanity,[1] and it is this very point that Cain`s works accentuate caringly through her planetary storytellings.

Penelope Cain is an interdisciplinary artist with a research and science background working between expanded photography, video and collage in non-linear storytelling modalities. She most recently exhibited in Re/Wild, Maxxi Rome curated by Manuel Cirauqui, the SACO Biennale, Chile (2023), and The Social Life of Microbes, Radius, Delft, Netherlands.

She has been awarded residencies at the British School in Rome, Power Institute Award residency, Cite International des Arts, Paris, Asialink residency, Taipei, and the Glenfiddich Contemporary Art Award Residency, Scotland. She is currently undertaking an art-science intersection residency with the EU Joint Research Centre for Science, Italy, to be exhibited at IMAL Brussels,  and later this year she begins  a new research commission considering AI robotics in Dutch food production greenhouses, as part of an  Ars Electronica-led digital new deal project.

Elif Carrier is a researcher, curator and consultant. Her work focuses on facilitating artistic productions that challenge the historical trajectory and how we act in the contemporary world, in line with her interest in use of art within society responding to current urgencies from decentralized positions. She is a graduate of CAS Curating program from Zurich University of Applied Arts (ZHdK). She  holds a BA in Business Administration and Management from Oxford Brookes University, and an MBA from Johnson and Wales University.

[1] Tsing, Anna, The Mushroom at the End of the World, (Princeton University Press, 2015), 183