Artists: Patricia Domínguez, Sharona Franklin, Ja'Tovia Gary, Lungiswa Gqunta, Sebastiano Impellizzeri, Isaac Julien, Kapwani Kiwanga, Jumana Manna, Jota Mombaça, Zoe Williams, Rachel Youn.
Edited by Irene Calderoni and Bernardo Follini
Inauguration: 11 May, h. 7:00 pm
On 11 May 2023, the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation inaugurates the collective exhibition The Butterfly Affect (butterfly affection), an exhibition path articulated through the works of eleven international artists, from sculpture to installation, from painting to video. «Can il flutter of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” asked the mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz in 1972. The theory, known as the "Butterfly Effect", is based on the belief that any action, even if apparently insignificant, can have extreme consequences in different space-time coordinates. Fifty years after Lorenz's hypothesis, in a context dotted with the harmful effects of actions on our ecosystem, the exhibition intends to register artistic approaches that cross the responsibility connected to individual agency with collective processes of care, pleasure and ecology. The Butterfly Affect presents the sphere of interspecies affectivity as a way to imagine new paradigms of social and environmental coexistence, moving away from the prescriptions of the extractive domain. The artists cross the natural sciences, with a particular interest in botany, as lands of conflict governed by dynamics of exploitation and oppression. The exhibition discusses the ways in which natural space is physically constructed and legally regulated, and how access to it is regulated. Starting from herbal knowledge, the themes of vulnerability and health are explored, bringing out the processes of medicalization of the body and stigmatization of the disease. Affection and relationships are expanded in a transhuman perspective that blurs the boundaries between sexual bodies and vegetable bodies.
Finally, ecological destruction is read in connection with the trauma engraved on the bodies of the different communities, allowing the artist to imagine spaces for new collective healing practices. Jumana Manna (1987, Princeton, USA) investigates the social and economic impact of laws on protection of the nature of Israeli rule over the Palestinian population, while Lungiswa Gqunta (1990, Gqeberha, South Africa) deconstructs the patriarchal and colonial legacies that regulate land access and ownership. Kapwani Kiwanga (1978, Hamilton, Canada) deals with the asymmetries of power starting from the English garden and the botanical technologies of the Victorian era. Ja'Tovia Gary (1984, Dallas, USA) focuses on a well-known garden, that of Claude Monet in Giverny, to reflect on the violent politics of the representation of the black body. Sharona Franklin (1987, Canada) explores the relationship between biology, pharmacology and social interdependence from the perspective of a disabled and bioethical activism. Isaac Julien (1960, London, UK) reactivates the story of the cure and rebirth of Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, the famous refuge where Derek Jarman retired after being diagnosed as HIV positive.
Sebastiano Impellizzeri (1987, Catania) paints maps of complex decoding, which contain the spatial and emotional coordinates of cruising areas, a practice of sexual encounters between strangers outdoors. Zoe Williams (1983, Salisbury, UK) manipulates ceramics to build hybrid forms in which care, vanity and precariousness project the erotic into a transhuman dimension. Rachel Youn (1994, Abington, USA) builds installations using artificial plants and massage machines, producing an ironic and grotesque imaginary of care, pleasure and intimacy.Patricia Domínguez (1984, Santiago, Chile) deals with climatic anguish and the dynamics extractivists employing ethnobotanical knowledge and interrogating the notion of well-being within the process of digitizing lives. Jota Mombaça (1991, Natal, Brazil) observes the rising sea level and the environmental crisis in the light of today's gender, class and race discrimination, presenting an installation originally produced for his performance "in the tired watering", which took place on 'Island of San Giacomo in Venice, new headquarters of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation.