© Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

The ‘End of the World’ is no longer a biblical prophecy or the fate of religious fanatics – it’s an eerie, self-inflicted reality which is already unfolding. We’re obviously talking the environment, and how it has dominated the global political agenda this past decade. As if to document the urgency of this topic, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow is currently hosting an exhibition which explores, from an artistic perspective and the works of historical and new works of more than 50 Russian and international artists. Entitled The Coming World – There Is No Nature, the show is curated by Sneyana Krasteva and Ekaterina Lazareva occupies the entire venue, and is developed around two main concepts: environmentalism and ecology.

The first gives real urgency to the agenda of mankind’s inadequate relationship to nature, putting forward the idea that still marginalized topics such as climate change, species extinction, pollution, renewable energy, and overpopulation should be central to building alternative patterns of education, consumption, production, and leisure. This also means considering nature in an expanded field and interlinking biological, technological, social and political ecologies. The second concept is understood as ecology in action, an insuppressible process where nature, human and other-than-human co-perform, or the world as a performed ecology and an ecology performing itself.

This allows us to think of nature in embodied, active, distinctly relational terms whereby production of new knowledge is possible within the transcendent as well as everyday knowing of nature. Both parts aim to draw attention to the ecological imbalances created by human activity, which many of us choose to ignore due to their incomprehensibly huge scale and unrelatability on a personal level. The works on display reflect the exhibition’s double focus from a myriad of angles, and as such, they also represent a variety of eras and disciplines, including 16th-century tapestries which for the first time presented nature as a phenomenon outside of human control and formed the beginning of landscape as a genre in 17th-century Dutch painting, to the “organic culture” movement within the Russian avant-garde and the invention of land art in 1969, which made nature an artistic medium.

Along with works which represent evidence of recent anthropogenic disasters (Black Tide/Marea Negra by Allan Sekula) and criminal attempts to brush them under the carpet (Delay Decay by Susan Schuppli), the exhibition will also puts works on display which have been produced in collab with animals as agents in new relationships and new paradigms between humans, nature, and non-human species, as well as various scenarios for the future based on scientific predictions and theories. Alongside the exhibition an elaborate programme of events will be held  (on through Dec 1). Location: Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, ulitsa Krimskiy Val 9/32 (Yakimanka).

© Garage Museum of Contemporary Art