Opening: Friday, April 21, 2017, 7–9 pm
April 22 to June 18, 2017
The Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation presents the solo exhibition Planetary Echoes of the Berlin-based and internationally acclaimed artist Michael Najjar. He is among the vanguard of artists taking a complex, critical look at the technological forces that are currently shaping and drastically transforming the early 21st century. Najjar’s photo and video works draw from an interdisciplinary understanding of art; science, art, and technology are fused into utopian visions of future social orders that are spawned by cutting-edge technologies.
The exhibition Planetary Echoes focuses on the idea of future human settlements in space. Michael Najjar’s photo and video compositions suggest formal and thematic similarities between our own home planet and other moons and planets in the solar system. His large-scale photographic works visualize natural extraterrestrial environments that have a sublime and strangely familiar appearance—but are in fact synthetic constructions of a not-too-distant future reality. The awe-inspiring beauty of his interplanetary landscapes is conveyed through hyperreal but imaginary natural settings, places far beyond anywhere we have (yet) been able to reach.
As the artist argues, “We need to extend our existential frame of reference from one that is purely Earth-bound to one that includes Earth orbits, moons, other planets, and outer space in general.” The human species now faces multiple growing threats on planet Earth, from overpopulation and climate change to diminishing resources and shortages in the energy, food, and water supply. Najjar’s work follows the idea that the colonization of our solar system might be the ultimate solution for guaranteeing the survival of our species.
“The more we will venture out into space, the more the intellectual and scientific understanding of our place in the universe will be complemented by direct experience—which will lead to a shift in or own identity and our understanding of who we are and where we come from,” says the artist. “By expanding our human presence within the solar system, we will achieve the next level of evolution: the ‘homo spaciens,’ a new type of human being highly adapted to the space environment and more capable of exploring and settling it, capable of living away from Earth. We need to understand that there is no dichotomy between Earth and space, because the Earth is already in space.”
An accompanying book that focuses in greater depth on the idea of space exploration and human settlement in space will be published in English by Spector Books.
Accompanying program: May 5, 2017: Planetary Echoes. Exploring the Implications of Human Settlement in Space, Panel discussion with Nelly Ben Hayoun (Experience Designer), Xavier De Kestelier (Hassell Studio), Sir Tim Smit (co-founder of the Eden Project), Michael Najjar, moderation: Lukas Feireiss
ALFRED EHRHARDT STIFTUNG | Auguststr. 75 | 10117 Berlin | +49 (0)30 200953-33, Fax -34 | Opening hours: Tues to Sun 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Thurs 11:00 am – 9:00 pm | firstname.lastname@example.org |