Spanish contemporary art worldwide
20 Jan – 7 May, 2018
Hauser & Wirth Somerset is delighted to announce ‘The Land We Live In – The Land We Left Behind’, curated by Adam Sutherland. This ambitious survey exhibition explores the contradictory nature of society’s relationship to the rural. The presentation features over 50 international artists and creatives, as well as works on loan, by artists working from the 1500s to the present day, including Paul McCarthy, Beatrix Potter, Carsten Höller, Laure Prouvost, William Holman Hunt, Samuel Palmer, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcus Coates, Fernando García-Dory, Mark Dion, Roni Horn, Aaron Angell and Mark Wallinger.
With protagonists ranging from 10th-century anchorites to 21st-century urban ruralists, ‘The Land We Live In – The Land We Left Behind’ tells the story of humanity’s evolving connection to the land, our perception of, and reliance upon it. Viewers will have the opportunity to engage with the themes of the exhibition through a series of participatory artists’ projects and practical presentations, such as aquaponics, fermentation, goat milking and cheese making.
The exhibition’s title refers to a toast used by migrants in the 18th and 19th centuries, which celebrated the land they had arrived in, followed by a riposte celebrating their country of origin – a place that for many embodied romantic longing. The selected works suggest the rural as a laboratory for the development of ideas, in particular the notion of a rural utopia, exploring the religious migrants, the industrial escapees, the metaphors of the flight from Egypt and the return to Eden, that are embedded in humanity’s collective unconscious. This vision is counter-balanced and punctuated by pieces of documentary and reportage, from works illustrating the reality of modern farming, to artefacts relating to boy racers’ car culture. The exhibition explores these tangible themes of territorial friction, procreation, death, and our primeval base instinct, against the backdrop of a more elusive and arcadian incarnation of the rural.
Upon arriving at Hauser & Wirth Somerset viewers may encounter goats grazing in the grass farmyard; artist Fernando García-Dory and Hayatsu Architects have created a wooden pavilion – a functioning artwork – for goats to climb on and socialise.
Fernando García-Dory ´s (b. 1978) work engages specifically with the relationship between culture and nature now, as manifested in multiple contexts, from landscape and the rural, to desires and expectations concerned with identity, through to (global) crisis, utopia and the potential for social change. He studied Fine Arts and Rural Sociology, and now prepairing his PhD on Agroecology. Interested in the harmonic complexity of biological forms and processes, his work addresses connections and cooperation, from microorganisms to social systems, and from traditional art languages such as drawing to collaborative agroecological projects, actions, and cooperatives.
Hauser & Wirth Somerset. Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL. U.K
Image: “The Land We Live In – The Land We Left Behind” Hauser & Wirth