Het Hem’s OMA/AMO exhibition explores our balance with nature
We visited the latest exhibition “Chapter 5IVE” by Het Hem in collaboration with OMA’s Rem Koolhaas and AMO Director Samir Bantal
Het Hem’s latest exhibition “Chapter 5IVE” is the result of a long conversation between curator Rieke Vos, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal, director of AMO, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) think tank. An installation of 15 works of art is on display in the former munitions factory space of a cultural institution in Zaandam, the Netherlands.
The exhibition is framed by an extensive study of the relationship between city and country, which Koolhaas and Bantar began in 2012 and exhibited for the first time at the Guggenheim in 2020, titled “Country, Future.” “The initial glamorous image of globalization seems to be rapidly losing its luster around the world. The mechanisms of more and more modern cities seem to make life more unified, disrupting our balance with nature, and people in the countryside are no longer willing to accept this,” Ban said. Tal said. In other words, we must look to the countryside to help us achieve sustainable living on Earth. This is a key part of our fight against climate change, food security and an inclusive balance with nature.
“These artworks provide a space for critical reflection on our present and future relationship with rural life and nature,” Voss said.The journey begins with the prologue: in German artist Christian Jankowski’s hunting (1992-1997), the artist walks into a supermarket with a bow and arrow, like a primitive hunter collecting his daily necessities – only to face an indifferent cashier who charges him only for his “catch”. Humans tend to place themselves outside nature, even above nature. This hilarious anecdote questions whether our way of life is inherently conflicted and how we position ourselves within the ecosystem.
Our economy needs to continue to grow, which beats the natural clock. Hungarian-American artist Agnes Denes Tree Hill – A Living Time Capsule – 11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 Years (1982, 1992-96), one of the first ecological artworks, mathematically planted thousands of silver fir trees on a former gravel pit in Finland, using the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio to encourage future civilizations Reflect on its cultural origins. “Rural areas may be worst affected by climate change, but they may also have the best solutions to climate change,” Voss said. Nature may work slowly, but Dennis, on the other hand, is sending the message that it is possible for humans to adapt to its rhythms if we have the will.
Jasper Copps. Installation view, “Chapter 5ive”, Het Hem
The exhibition moves in a more futuristic direction. Vos describes Bantal and Koolhaas as “philosophers of technology in a sense” whose open minds seek to use new technologies to change the way we behave while maintaining our values.
Great Recession (2019) Belgian artist Maarten Vanden Eynde is a copper memory chip showing a floor plan of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, which opened in 2008, covered with a variety of seeds. “Seeds contain a lot of knowledge,” Voss said. “They are one of the most sophisticated rural technologies.” The design is reminiscent of Lukasa, an ancient memory device created by the Kingdom of Luba (now part of the Democratic Republic of Congo) to record relevant political events , topographical and historical information on people and places.
Musasa and Maarten Vanden Eynde. Installation view, “Chapter 5ive”, Het Hem
The end of the showroom is The perfect messenger fork (2015-16), a real-time algorithmic simulation by American artist Ian Cheng. It depicts a distant future where humanity has become extinct and a human being is brought back to life by El to see how they will respond to a dystopian environment. “Perhaps the most intimate crisis we face today is the limit of human consciousness to truly grasp complexity on a non-human scale,” Cheng said.
Voss adds, “Humans tend to think that we can control everything through technology. Cheng’s work paints another picture, reminding us that we will always be part of the overall environment.§