Germany - Berlin - Uqbar - Ives Maes - Unification07/05/2010
May 29 - July 3, 2010
Opening: May 28, 2010, 7 p.m.
Ives Maes exhibition Unification at uqbar takes us to a dystopian world. Imagine if greenhouse gas emissions were impossible to stop, glaciers melted, sea levels rose, and most of the continents' land was flooded by the ocean, as climate scientists predict may happen within this century. Entire nations would disappear, as well as 90% of the earth's population. Welcome to a post-apocalyptic, flooded world.
The elements of the exhibition in Berlin are relics of a story to be reconstructed. The central object, resembling a tent, is made of ordinary tarpaulin, a highly resistant material used as shelter against the elements and for protection, carrying on one side the shape of Antarctica overpainted by the artist with oils. On the walls, two lightboxes show enigmatic places, situations, and symbols referring to some kind of post-emergency scenarios. In Berlin Ives Maes further develops his research into the symbolism of real and fictional flags, inserting in the objects on display elements taken or developed on the basis of his collection of flags symbols. As, for example, the "Reunited Nations" symbol, whose shape, colour and logo recall those of the actual United Nations flag, but in comparison to the original a good deal of the continents' landmass is missing, with only the highest mountains still visible in the world map. This is a vision of how the planet would look like from above, if Antarctica melted and the ocean rose.
Image: Ives Maes, Melosport (Expo '58: Evaluation of the World for a more Humane World, 1958) Duratrans on acrylic, lightbox, 100 x 125 cm, 2009.