Gathering into the Maelstrom (exhibition)

‘Gathering into the Maelstrom’ is curated by Institute of Radical Imagination and Sale Docks within the framework of Museum of the Commons.

The exhibition presents works largely produced during a three-day workshop at Sale Docks led by Taring Padi, Powernotte, and the Climate Justice League. The result was a series of cardboard puppets and a 15-metre-long wooden fish that will be used for a water demonstration (planned on 25 May) against the presence of big cruise ships in the Venice lagoon. These objects reject, in practice, any rigid definition, blurring the distinction between artworks and activist props. The exhibition itself reclaims an uncertain status, more the documentation of an action than a display of discrete objects to be contemplated.

Alongside the props made for the No Cruise Ships action in the Lagoon and for a climate justice march in Milan, the exhibition features two films by Oliver Ressler (one documenting the 2019 Venice Climate Camp, the other reflecting on the occupation of the Hambach forest), and a series of banners, paintings, and prints by Taring Padi.

‘Gathering into the Maelstrom’ is also the title of a four-day programme that took place at Sale Docks (17–20 April, 2024). The programme featured assemblies, screenings, and a book launch mainly focused on art and ecology. It also included talks with Palestinian artists and participation in an action in solidarity with Palestinian people during the Israeli attack on Gaza.

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Photo: Rebecca Legnaro

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