Reflections on the 15m3 installation by Jette Gejl and Bjorn Godwin at the Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art
Modern art is not really self explanatory.. You really need to know the context of what was happening – at the exhibit we only see the result of a thought process and in order to appreciate it we need to get into the narrative that was accompanying the artist in the act of producing his/her art pieces..
What was the starting point? How was it evolving in-between? What were the alternatives?.. The whole decision-making process is hidden from the viewer – we only get the final result, which would have probably made sense if we’d known all the intermediate steps that had lead to it, the full tree of decisions.. However, we’re left to wonder about the final result of this tedious thought process and all the reductions in-between. I’m usually extremely puzzled and have no idea ..
If you’re lucky to attend the artist talk – then many things fall into their places.. Otherwise it remains as a random object rather than art.. Out of context… Yet another bubble..
If there is no one to tell that this sand came from Australia and it is supposed to explore the role of art in the climate change debate by stating how much tons of carbon emissions it has produced by bringing it all the way to Denmark.. If there is no one to tell you this, the red sand remains just the red sand on the floor of a room…
However, even knowing all of the above, it doesn’t really help in overcoming the amotivation in the environmental behaviors in my opinion. Somehow just giving the information about those issues, even in the artistic form about the overuse of the natural resources and pollution that we all jointly create, unfortunately will not lead to taking any constructive actions something that would lead to change, at the best it will make people wonder for some time.
I think if the artist would sort of follow up on the people who came to view the exhibit it can bring the concept even further. Just a small question to ask: “Now that you know this, what are you going to do about it?”, “If you do care for these issues, what could you do as an individual to contribute to the overall change?”
I believe that all the big changes happen due to small individual acts combined together..
15m3 is part of the 5 Solo exhibition at the Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark. It is on display from 2 March till 31 March, 2013.