The seven billionth citizen: a global video project

(2012) The seven billionth citizen: a global video project

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Description/Abstract:The project is a response to the announcement by the United Nations of the birth of the seven billionth citizen in 2011, and arises from consultation with population specialists, addressing the global impact of population trends, and how this might be researched and articulated through fine art practice.

How might artists deliver the most effective audience engagement with pressing demographic and ecological issues? Might it be with artworks which avoid illustration of, or explicit reference to, these issues? Might the archetypal image of the individual’s engagement with the Sublime landscape, as articulated in the work of Caspar David Friedrich, be the vehicle for representing the immense implications of these issues for us all as individual citizens? How could a historical formula enjoying universal familiarity thanks to the enduring currency of the imagery it produced, when used as a template for contemporary production, serve as a viable point of contact between art practices in all parts of the world, for the purposes of production of a collective artwork addressing these issues? And might it further provide an accessible platform for engagement with non-art specialists from other fields relevant to the issues, and itself be reinvigorated by its application in such a context?

The project attempts a perspective on the essential ambiguity of our era which the force of the UN announcement seems to hinge upon: a concern for the individual, in the face of overwhelming collective and societal challenges. The finished product is a curated five-screen video presentation of interpretations of the Friedrich formula by artists in the five major population zones of the world, which, when appropriately contextualized, seeks to express the human experience associated with rapid global population growth and its attendant issues.

The work will be exhibited at a number of venues in 2012/13 including: Townhouse, Cairo; Herbert Reed Gallery, Canterbury; Solent Showcase, Southampton.

The European component is delivered by Gillett and Harland,: the Middle East and North Africa by Ayman Ramadan (Cairo); Sub-Saharan Africa by James Muriuki (Nairobi); Asia and Australasia by Naoya Hatakeyama (Tokyo); and the Americas by Maria Lucia Cattani and Nick Rands (Porto Allegre).
Contributors:Harland, E.J. (Other)
Gillett, J.R. (Other)
Hatakeyama, N. (Artist)
Ramadan, A. (Artist)
Muriuki, J. (Artist)
Cattani, M.L. (Artist)
Rands, N. (Artist)
Item Type:Art Design Item - Artefact
Organisations:Winchester School of Art
Date:11 July 2012
ePrint ID:338427

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