we do not all breathe the same air

 

 

 

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ON AIR
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we do not all breathe the same air

Particular Matter(s), 2021, installation view at We do not all breathe the same air, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.


2021, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Germany

Composed of works in diverse media, the exhibition at neugerriemschneider, Berlin surveys the artist’s social, scientific and philosophical enquiries into breath, spirit and regeneration. Sensing cosmic forces, inanimate particles and living beings, Saraceno’s exhibition portrays environmental concerns while celebrating the complexity of existence and looking for ways to live together differently.

The entire exhibition is powered by renewable energy via six solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the gallery. neugerriemschneider’s opening hours will also shift with daylight, from 11 am – 6 pm through September to 10 am – 5 pm through October, optimizing solar radiation to illuminate certain parts of the exhibition with direct sunlight.

As part of the exhibition a special screening of Pacha, from the film and photography series Fly with Aerocene Pacha, will take place at Kino International (Karl-Marx-Allee 33, 10178 Berlin) at 10:30am Sunday, September 19, during Gallery Week Berlin. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist, Antonia Alampi and Ute Meta Bauer. 

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For more than two decades, Saraceno has activated projects aimed towards an ethical collaboration with the atmosphere, including Museo Aero Solar (2007–) and the Aerocene Foundation (2015–), a non-profit organization devoted to community building, scientific research, artistic experience, and education. In Pacha, by Tomás Saraceno and Maximiliano Laina, members of the 33 communities of Salinas Grandes share their transgenerational testimonies of climate change, and their protest against the ‘green rush’ to mine lithium. This community project and flight set thirty-two world records, ratified by the Fédération Aeronautique Internations (FAI), with Aerocene pilot Leticia Noemi Marques. 

We do not all breathe the same air, 2018- ongoing. 
Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air, 
neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

We do not all breathe the same air, 2018- ongoing.

Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air,

neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Entering the exhibition from the gallery’s usual exit is a symbolic gesture by the artist to suggest that ‘point-of-no return’ discourses about our fragile world can be overcome.

 

We do not all breathe the same air (2018-ongoing), the continuing artwork from which the exhibition earns its title, has been carried out in numerous cities around the world. Visualizing air quality, the spectrum of dots in varying hues are samples of what we breathe. These dots reveal the spatial, racial, social, and political factors that determine whether one can exercise their right to clean air.

 

This unequal distribution is more important than ever, as environmental racism has proven once again to have disastrous, deathly consequences during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Though inherently a virus cannot discriminate, the social systems in place can, and they guarantee that some will be infected while others will not and some will recover while others will not.

 

 

 

 

We do not all breathe the same air, 2018- ongoing. 
Installation view at ON AIR, carte blanche exhibition to Tomás Saraceno,
Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

We do not all breathe the same air, 2018- ongoing.

Installation view at ON AIR, carte blanche exhibition to Tomás Saraceno,

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Particular Matter(s), 2021,
Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air, 
neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Particular Matter(s), 2021,

Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air,

neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Bringing together the tiny particles of daily life with distant dust of the greater cosmos is Printed Matter(s) (2018), a series of photo giclée prints using special ink made of pollution extracted from the air in Mumbai. These prints depict images of cosmic dust from an issue of the NASA Cosmic Dust Catalog, April 1982. Combining the celestial and terrestrial, this series brings together vast spans of time and scale, from the depths of space to our current world.

 

The hidden particles of our atmosphere are brought to life and into the present moment by a single beam of light for Saraceno’s new installation Particular Matter(s) (2021). Within that beam PM2.5, PM10, NOx gas, earthly and cosmic dust particles – almost invisible or at least ignored in the everyday – are illuminated like millions of suspended galaxies and are stirred by visitors’ movements and breath.

 

Move from darkness into light in the final space for this gallery tour. Here, traces of breath are held in molten glass turned solid shaped by exhaled air. A method of glass blowing that has been used since the 1st century BC, Pneuma, Aeolus, Aeroscale, Aerosolar Serpens (2018-2021) seek to heighten our consciousness of breath and its layered meaning across cultures.

 

For Saraceno, this entanglement of breath and spirit filling and forming these glass shapes also helps to construct the question: who has the right to breathe?  

Printed Matter(s) , 2018,
Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air,
neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Printed Matter(s) , 2018,

Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air,

neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Installation view at We do not all breathe the same air, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider.

Saraceno’s works Hybrid Spider/Webs (2019-2020) and Spider/Web Maps (2018-2020) tell stories of layered relationships, entangling not only different arachnid webbed ecosystems, but also human and non-human worlds. Black carbon can cling to a spider’s web, altering and damaging it and the spider over time. The blackened spider/webs then demonstrate how all endure the effects of human caused air pollution. In the context of Saraceno’s research community Arachnophilia (2017–), these works furthermore aim to change people’s perceptions of spiders and webs within the context of the current ecological crisis. 

 

Completing the show, Radio Galena (2020) sits before a barred window. It is a stone wrapped in wire that can function as a radio in certain parts of the atmosphere, using neither electricity, batteries or solar panels. This radio stone earth enters into reverberation and receives radio waves, attuning to “geological broadcasting”. For Saraceno, this work recalls clandestine radios used in times of political strife, and reminds us of human power to overcome structures of control using the simple, nonharmful materials and natural energies of our planet.

 

We do not all breathe the same air poses questions surrounding a heightened consciousness of breath, air, and atmosphere, with its many injustices but also possibilities for transformation in the future.

 

Moving forward will require both the realization and recognition that, not only do we not all breathe the same air, but that not all have the right to breathe.


 

 

 

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Aria
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ON AIR
ON AIR
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