Begin by picturing a world of abundance. It would likely be lush, rich, and ancient. A topology of connections, webs, and links, a system of relations. Abundance roots our being in the world in fullness, productivity, and plurality, not only for humans but for other life-
“Abundant Futures”is an essay exhibition that presents and formulates a daring attempt to imagine worldmaking and ecological futures from the condition of abundance and fullness. It places a wealth of artistic visions and propositions from TBA21 Thyssen-
Focusing on abundance is a matter of ontology, ethics, and ecological thought. Art, culture, and education join together to advance and reformulate ecological and visionary practices, which shape our experiences of the world. They occupy spaces for the rehearsal of social, ecological, and artistic/poetic scenarios that can alter human interaction with the planet and allow new forms of conviviality to emerge. Rehabilitating the abundance of possibilities after an age of austerity will have to be cultivated and socially enacted. It promises sufficiency and rubs against the always-
“Abundant Futures”is both a visionary and somewhat paradoxical proposition. It is radically antithetical to the catastrophic predictions that define future conditions on earth. But scarcity and austerity have insinuated themselves into how we imagine our existence. The mere limitation of means and resources is equaled to scarcity, irrespective of the many possibilities afforded by negotiating and compensating for forms of disruption. Limitedness and abundance might be more consequentially related than we are led to believe. Embracing abundance can lead to a deep experience of the limitedness of human life and planetary survival. Paradoxically, limitation generates fullness, attentiveness, and care.
If we want to imagine and organize the world differently, we will have to cultivate new horizons for our politics and relations to each other. Shaping abundant futures means supporting already existing worlding practices and learning from them. It means reorganizing work fairly, redistributing what is available across vast differences, giving up what is possible to promote more life, and decreasing our productivity and wastefulness for the benefit of the commons. In these ecologically desperate days, heralding and directing our attention and devotion to what can be said, expressed, spoken, done, or imagined produces new forms of abundance. By embracing the multiple ways of being in the world, we can experience and enact abundance.
The selection of works from the TBA21 Thyssen-
Artists: Ai Weiwei, Allora & Calzadilla, Dana Awartani, Claudia Comte, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Elena Damiani, Olafur Eliasson, Haris Epaminonda, Mario García Torres, Isa Genzken, Helen Mayer Harrison & Newton Harrison, Mathilde ter Heijne, Camille Henrot, Ann Veronica Janssens, Miler Lagos, Sarah Lucas, Matthew Lutz-
Regina de Miguel, Abrazo Simbionte (detail), 2022. Commissioned by TBA21 Thyssen-
Exhibition 02 April 2022 -
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