The world’s richest citizens who descend on the Swiss ski town of Davos this week for the annual World Economic Forum can also take in works of art that focus on “technology, the imperatives of climate change, gender equality and the global refugee crisis”, says the program curator. .
Joseph Fowler, head of arts and culture at the World Economic Forum, selected works by artists and photographers, including New York-based Sarah Cameron Sunde and Turkish-American new media artist Refik Anadol.
Sunde’s project 36.5 / A Duration Performance with the Sea, is “an artistic reflection on the fragility and vulnerability of ourselves, as well as our cities and urban environments, in the face of extreme weather events, climate crisis and rising sea levels,” Fowler said in a statement in partnership with Forbes.
The series of nine site-specific participatory performance works and video works began with “an impulsive poetic gesture in response to Hurricane Sandy’s impact on New York City [in 2012]—who stood in the water for 12 hours and 48 minutes while the tide rose and fell on her body,” reads a statement on Sunde’s website. The artist filmed others 36.5 tidal works in Mexico, San Francisco, the Netherlands and Bangladesh.
The of Anadol Machine hallucinations—Coral dreams (2021) was a talking point during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2021. His work, displayed on the beach, was launched as part of an exhibition organized by the NFT platform Aorist. “Anadol and his team collected nature-themed data using 1,742,772 images of coral from publicly available social media platforms.”
Again inspired by the degradation of the coral reefs, Anadol has created a new site-specific piece that will be unveiled at Davos called Artificial Realities: Coralbased on about a billion images of coral. The work, a large “data sculpture,” aims to use the Metaverse and blockchain economies to alleviate global climate change issues, Fowler says.
“What’s particularly fascinating about Anadol’s work is how it bends our perceptions and offers new ways of interpreting data, as well as alternative ways of seeing and thinking about shape, color, form and movement,” adds Fowler.
Fowler will also unveil a large-scale mural with the title at Davos The color of resilience created by young people based in refugee camps worldwide. The project was organized with the New York-based non-profit organization Artolution which worked with four separate groups of refugee youth living in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan; the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in Uganda; the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh and the Venezuelan refugee and internally displaced communities in Colombia.
“This large-scale unique artwork is the first collaborative, transcultural and internationally produced public artwork from crisis contexts around the world,” says Fowler.
Meanwhile, a special exhibition—The only woman in the room—with images from the book The Only Woman (Phaidon) by Immy Humes—highlights “women who made their way in a man’s world, shown through group portraits with each a lone woman”.
“Everybody [image by the US filmmaker Humes] offers forensic evidence of patriarchy on parade, along with all the other forces of dominance. It is a fresh contribution to the visual and cultural history full of unheard stories, courage, achievement, outrage, mystery, fun and above all extraordinary women,” says Fowler.