What do Landscapes dream of?

The exhibition will be on display at the Tublà da Nives Cultural Centre in Selva from 15.05.2022 until 03.07.2022. Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 4pm-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-12pm / 5pm-8pm.

Do landscapes dream? With this question, we* want to enter a sensual, living state of consciousness and close our eyes for a moment and linger there. We want to remember feelings, experiences, sensations of the past, and dreams of the future. Dreams serve us as a source of inspiration and creativity, as a way of imagining and inventing our future, and as a process for processing our reality and our everyday life. The dream-like state enables us to think differently, anew and freely, by temporarily suspending the laws of space and time. Landscapes and their complexity begin to dream and redefine themselves. New constellations, ideas, and images emerge, but access remains denied to us. Dreams are private and individual—only when the landscape tells the story of kis** dream we can participate. The exhibition seeks to give landscape this voice through art.

We challenge the status quo and offer an alternative perspective. Giving landscapes a right to self-determination, not to be exploited and destroyed, are dreams of a fairer future. How do we want to shape landscapes and how can landscapes shape themselves? What do landscapes dream of? How do landscapes shape us?

Our research aims to question and understand the landscape that surrounds us as commons. What is our understanding of landscape? What belongs to the landscape? Not only nature but also the foreign. And when something foreign is embedded in the landscape for so long, it becomes part of ki. Have we become blind and shaped by the familiar, by what we see every day, and no longer recognize the vitrification of the landscape? But does a feeling, a memory also belong to the landscape? So what do we see when we consciously look out of the window? To whom does what we see belong? To all of us? What do we use and need ki for?

A landscape is an area that is distinguished from another area by various factors. Landscape is a construct made up of various natural, artificial, cultural, political, and social layers. Landscapes can be ideologized as beautiful, unique, and wonderful. Landscapes can also scare and terrify us. Landscape is more than nature and people: landscape is a collective process – an interdependence based on participatory coexistence. Landscape is a relationship that must be connected to care. 

Who has the right to determine who uses commons and how? Only me and the urge for egocentric desire, or also other-than-humans***? As guest inhabitants of the landscape, we have to protect ki and kis resources. At the same time, kis appropriate use is also our right, through shared duties and shared rights. Could participatory democratization of the commons be the answer to a social and ecological transformation of landscape design that is crucial for the survival of kis and thus for our survival?

*We are more than human (Superflux: A More Than Human Manifesto, 2021)

**Ki is an alternative spelling variant of the pronoun “it” according to Robin Wall Kimmerer, from the syllables “aaki”, from the word “Aakibmaadiziiwin”, meaning “a being of the earth” in Potawatomi. Ki to signify a being of the living earth. (Robin Wall Kimmerer: Speaking of Nature, 2017, P. 29)

*** The term “other-than-human” refers to a conceptual shift in anthropology and other social sciences that aims to avoid human exceptionalism and instead extend the social to other entities. (Lien and Pálsson: Ethnography beyond the human: the ‘other-than-human ’in ethnographic work, 2019, P. 4)

The basis of the exhibition is a dreamy manifesto that speaks to visitors from the perspective of the mountains of Val Gardena.

The participating artists represent the three language groups: Ladin, German, and Italian, and are from the province of Bozen-Bolzano: Silvia Capuzzo, Jasmine Deporta, Lia Mazzari, Veronica Moroder, Martin Pöll, Barbara Prenka, Christine Runggaldier, Tobias Tavella, Fabio Zindaco.

Curated by Mara Vöcking & Sarah Solderer.

A thesis project from the Master Eco-Social Design in collaboration with Biennale Gherdëina 8. Supervisor David Calas & Elisabeth Tauber.