A nomadic exhibition across Auckland
Te Tuhi is proud to present The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show, curated by artist Søren Dahlgaard, an Official Collateral Event of the 55th Venice Biennale in conjunction with the Museum of Everything. Featuring an international selection of over 30 artists, The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show is a mobile exhibition that acts to promote environmental and political awareness. The Caravan’s diverse programme groups various aspects of human rights, collaboration, engagement, public space, creativity, and alternatives of cultural production as an expanded conversation about climate change.
Dahlgaard developed the project in response to the environmental and political plight of the Maldives. As a chain of low-lying atolls the Maldives, like many other island nations, are under grave threat from rising sea levels due to climate change. Politically, the Maldives have also struggled for many years under dictatorship, until a brief period of democracy with the presidency of Mohamed Nasheed from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, members of the former regime forced Nasheed to resign at gunpoint. Since then many art organisations have been forced to close and there are reports of creative practitioners being abused and suppressed. Recognising the necessity of reacting against the return to dictatorship, Dahlgaard spilt from the Maldives National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (which he had initiated with climate activist and former president Nasheed in 2010) and established The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show. As a politically independent and mobile project, The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show represents movement in all aspects − physical and mental, political and environmental. Dahlgaard, a previous long-term resident of the Maldives, explains:
“Exodus refers to the majority of the Maldivian population that wishes to escape the unprecedented events in the Maldives of unbelievable acts of brutality, polarised discourse, and repression of human rights. Exodus also refers to the climate change issue in the Maldives, which can lead to the entire Maldivian population becoming climate refugees due to the country’s status as the first country to be underwater due to global warming.”
The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show features a diversity of artistic practice reflecting a collective effort amongst artists of all persuasions to formulate innovative new ways to educate and call for urgent action. Works included range widely from music to video, and from performance to games. Assisted by Nasheed, the Caravan features a significant selection of works by Maldivian artists. Other contributions include works by New Zealand performance artist Mark Harvey and art world heavyweights Rirkrit Tiravanija, SUPERFLEX and Bik Van der Pol.
→ CIRCUIT Cast Episode 10
→ Not waving, drowning – The New Zealand Herald
→ Political / Climate change – EyeContact