“The World to Come” (Sept. 18, 2018–March 3, 2019)

Published: August 20th, 2018

Category: News

Forty-five contemporary international artists chronicle an era of rapid, radical, and irrevocable ecological change.

The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene

September 18, 2018 – March 3, 2019

Harn Museum of Art

University of Florida


The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene chronicles an era of rapid, radical and irrevocable ecological change through works of art by more than 45 contemporary international artists. We live in a world of imminent extinctions, runaway climate change and the depletion of biodiversity and resources. Our age has been identified as the Anthropocene, a controversial term used to name a new geological epoch defined by human impact. While geological epochs are known as products of slow change, the Anthropocene has been characterized by speed. Rising water, surging population and new technologies that compress our breathless sense of space and time. Philosopher Santiago Zabala, echoing Heidegger, warns, “The greatest emergency is the absence of emergency.”

Despite the challenges of disaster and denial, artists in the exhibition respond with resistance, imagination and new ways of seeing and thinking about the world to come. The artists contest mastery of human power over nature while re-visioning the bond of humans to non-human life. In this way, they sustain an openness, wonder and curiosity, keeping optimism in check and nihilism at bay. Organized around overlapping trajectories, the exhibition is structured as a collage of networked ecologies and stories within stories. They include raw material, disaster, consumption, loss, justice and the emergence of new and nonhierarchical alliances in human-non-human relations.

Florida is one of the most environmentally vulnerable location worldwide making The World to Come especially relevant. The exhibition will include a catalogue and dynamic interdisciplinary programs. In January 2017, the Harn Museum of Art received a $100,000 grant from the prestigious Andy Warhol Foundation, providing welcome support for the exhibition.

Support for “The World to Come” is from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation, UF Center for Humanities & the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Lecture Series (keynote), UF Imagining Climate Change, UF Office of Research, and the generosity of several private donors.

Image: Maroesjka Lavigne, White Rhino, Namibia. From the series Land of Nothingness (2015). Courtesy of the artist.


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