Why the Colour of the Sky Matters: Breaking Patterns #2 with Hemauer/Keller, Mirjam Varadinis and Jurczok 1001

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During the COVID-19 local lockdowns, from Beijing to Milan, there were reports that the sky was of an unprecedented blue. The color of the sky can be seen both as an aesthetic and a political topic. Asking if we don’t want to go back to the old normal, what kind of measures can we take?, Zurich based artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller began by presenting in conversation with Mirjam Varadinis (curator of Kunsthaus Zürich and manifesta 12) a conceptual multimedia research project they started four years ago which questions how much the color of the sky changes as a consequence of climate change and pollution. They then invited the audience in small groups to virtual rooms to imagine a “supreme article” which could be added to the constitution of each country where the participants came from and offered the participants the freedom to represent it in the medium of their choice. Why couldn’t a constitution article be a smell or a color?

Why the Colour of the Sky Matters: Breaking Patterns #2 with Hemauer/Keller, Mirjam Varadinis and Jurczok 1001

Video of the session

About the works

Concerning the Blueness of the Sky

Corona Blau Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller are concerned with the question of how the colour of the sky changes due to the climate crisis since 2014. They discovered that a) we are already living under an anthropogenic firmament, b) that scientists do not agree how the colour of the sky develops, and c) that the colour of the sky is not observed scientifically. Several art projects have emerged from this exploration. A long-term project plans to measure the sky spectra over museum roofs over the next 30 years.

Christina Hemauer und Roman Keller

Since 2003, the artist duo Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller has been investigating the interrelations between culture and environment in times of climate crisis. In 2006, for example, with the Postpetrolist Manifesto in which they foresee a new chapter in human history where fossil fuels are either depleted or out of use. Hemauer/Keller's artistic work is research based. They are interested in historical moments where decisions could have taken society on alternative routes. One convolute of works surrounds Jimmy Carter's solar installation on the White House which was taken down during the subsequent presidency or recalls during the Cairo Art Bienniale a largely forgotten episode from the early history of the commercial use of the commercial use of solar energy in 1913. In recent years they have intensified their cooperation with scientists. They are currently in the Art Scholarship Program at CERN. Hemauer/Keller work with various media such as installation, performance, video, sound and photography. Their work is exhibited and collected internationally.

Mirjam Varadinis

Mirjam Varadinisis is an art historian and curator for contemporary art at Kunsthaus Zurich. She has organized various exhibitions, including the group shows “Action!” (2017) and “Shifting Identities” (2008) as well as solo exhibitions with Olafur Eliasson, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Akram Zaatari, Javier Téllez, Haris Epaminonda, Rosa Barba, Roman Ondák, Adrian Paci, Mircea Cantor, Tino Sehgal, Erik van Lieshout, Nedko Solakov, Urs Fischer and David Shrigley a.o. She has published numerous catalogues and artist books and contributes to international art magazines. Mirjam Varadinis was one of Manifesta12’s curators in Palermo. In 2013 she had curated “0 Performance – The Fragile Beauty of Crisis”, a special project for the 5th Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art. In 2012, she co-curated “TRACK” (together with Philippe Van Cauteren), a large-scale, city-wide international group exhibition in the tradition of “Chambres d’amis” in Ghent, Belgium. In 2006, Mirjam Varadinis was also a curator of “Printemps de Septembre”, an annual festival of contemporary arts in Toulouse, France.

Jurczok 1001

Poet, MC and singer. Belongs to the Spoken Word pioneers of Switzerland. He lives and works in Zurich and has performed under the name Jurczok 1001 since 1996. Since 1998 he has worked with the author and musician Melinda Nadj Abonji (text performance, music, theater) and realized solo performances at various international festivals. Various awards: Including the Promotional Prize of the Canton of Zurich 2015 and Work Year of the City of Zurich 2014.

Credits: Portrait of Hemauer/Keller by Christophe Vander Eecken; Corona Skies (Zurich, Lutherwiese), 2020, Photographs taken by Hemauer/Keller

The series of workshops/masterclasses Breaking Patterns is organized and moderated by Bernard Vienat director of art-werk and is supported by Pro Helvetia in the frame of their Program Close Distance and Oertli Stiftung. sponsors Breaking Patterns 1 - Pro Helvetia - Oertli Stiftung