The exhibition is a direct response to an announcement by The United Nation of the world’s seven billionth citizen being born on 31 October 2011; drawing attention to the rapid global growth in recent years. The exhibition seeks to address the ambiguity of our era featuring themes of awe, tranquility, collectivity and isolation from a collection of international artists.
The exhibition revolves around five videos – each of which were made by different artists in densely populated zones of the world: America, Europe, Middle East & North African region, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia & Oceania.
Each artist’s contribution follows an agreed formula, inspired by the nineteenth century landscape paintings of Caspar David Friedrich that show a lone figure facing away from the viewer gazing upon a sublime landscape. In each video, the figure holds an hourglass, an acknowledgement of our urge to measure the immeasurable.
The collaborating artists include:
- Ayman Ramadan whose video work reflects the life of Cairo
- James Muriuki who customarily works with digital media, investigating transitions in contemporary society in Kenya
- Naoya Hatakeyama, a photographer who has most recently engaged in documenting the effects of last year’s tsunami which destroyed his hometown of Rikuzentakata in Japan
- Brazilian printmaker and video artist Maria Lucia Cattani, whose work habitually engages repetition to reveal unseen pattern
- Nick Rands who works in a variety of media to understand the relationship between human scale and the planet
- John Gillett, a local academic, curator and artist interested in the ambition of scale which digital media makes possible
- Beth Harland, a local academic who works in painting and video, analyses time in the texture of the visual.