The exhibition centres around nature; nature represented in news, commercials, nature as represented by history, the nature we live in, the one we rule, the one that we’d like to possess or the one that we depend on, the one that is being extinguished because of and with us, and finally the nature caught in an economic whirlpool.
The exhibition traces the ways in which we relate to nature through various modes of human-nature interaction such as the commodification of nature in the language of advertisements and media outlets, the scientific discourse around nature and the transportation and control of other species.
The exhibition borrows its title from a historic natural phenomenon. The volcanic eruption in Indonesia on 17 April 1815 affected most of the world and led to a change in climate. The following year was marked by widespread crop failures and famine, which later became known as “— year without a summer”.
The exhibition is based on a new video and an artist book ...by Deniz which she produced in Sri Lanka, and brings together her new paintings, sculptures, texts and objects. Deniz examines how humans relate to nature from economical, cultural and historical points of view. Over the years, humans have developed diverse discourses on values that are incompatible with their interest as a species. They range from the idea that all living beings were created by God and have to be protected, to the concept of noblesse oblige where humans must care and be responsible for “lesser beings” and to the Deep Ecology philosophy that radically rejects the superiority of human beings over nature. The approaches each work use to look at the human-nature relationship are various, beyond human-centered, nature-centered or pragmatic. They present diverse emotional layers including formal, personal, affectionate or vicious sensibilities. They speak of the place of commercials in our lives, regulations for plant transportation, the use of animals, the human struggle to make things happen in places that don’t belong to them, the prohibition to trade and use local seeds.