The Anthropocene (/ænˈθrɒp.əˌsiːn) was popularised as an environmental term at the dawn of the 21st century by Paul Crutzen, the Dutch Nobel laureate and pioneer on atmospheric chemistry; it constitutes a proposed geological epoch that starts with the beginning of the first important human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including climate change caused by human activity.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation officially declared the outbreak of a new virus, under the name Covid-19, a pandemic. The invisible threat has taken its toll on human life and safety, as well as global economy and collective action, forcing isolation or restricted access to public areas as precautionary measures. Vacant, desolate streets and cities in the midst of social distress, financial uncertainty and climate crisis, echo the urban void and the urgency to remain vigilant and socially alert.
During the unsettling times of a global pandemic and national lockdowns, which seem to have emerged out of dystopic fiction, what does it mean for earth and the anthropocene to remain on hold? Which are the challenges and the environmental concerns that are raised for an artist? How can social distancing and quarantine reshape artistic practices and environmental narratives? In which ways can Covid-19 impact environmental crisis and our general perception of the issue?
In response to this unprecedented and urgent situtation and its toll on the planet’s well-being and safety, PCAI, on the occasion of the Anthropocene On Hold exhibition, has invited 20 international visual artists to address the gravity of a global pandemic and its impact on art engagement and production as well as earth’s resilience and sustainability.
James Bridle, Ionian Bisai & Sotiris Tsiganos, Matthias Fritsch, Kyriaki Goni, Markus Hanakam & Roswitha Schuller, Hypercomf, Rindon Johnson, Evi Kalogiropoulou, Lito Kattou, Bianca Kennedy and the Swan Collective, Marcin Liminowicz & Trang Ha, Charly Nijensohn, Kosmas Nikolaou, Ira Schneider, Andrew Norman Wilson participate in PCAI’s first online group exhibition curated by Kika Kyriakakou; an ongoing digital project that will be hosted from May 14 to December 31, 2020, on PCAI’s YouTube Channel.
More about PCAI
Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (PCAI), was founded in 2014 by Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Polyeco Group Executive Chairman, as a means to increase environmental awareness through contemporary art and video. The organisation implements its objectives though three areas of activity: its mainly commissioned-based Art Collection, its Projects and its Support. Since 2018 PCAI has been a member of the International Association of Corporate Collections of Contemporary Art (IACCCA) and it has been awarded for its art projects, educational programs and partnerships on many occasions.
Kika Kyriakakou, PCAI’s Artistic Director, initiated in 2019 the organisation’s artist-in-residence programme focusing on the interaction between contemporary art and environmental consciousness. The residency selection committee, consisting of Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Galleries Artistic Director, Krist Gruijthuijsen, KW Institute for Contemporary Art Director, and the PCAI Directors, chose artists Rindon Johnson and Lito Kattou to participate in the residency programme taking place in 2020.