Our House is on Fire.

Greta Thunberg, schoolgirl and climate activist

Located in the open space of the Central Gallery, this thematic section is a form of launch pad. It includes works connected to the world of today, to concrete environmental problems or disasters, and works which prompt us to re-examine the natural kingdom and our connection to it, in particular thanks to the animals which here play the role of agents of new forms of relationship.

In this gallery we take a closer look at the dying relationship between humans and the wild (Hayden Fowler's performance with a wolf, and the performance documentation); the costly search for other life forms in space while allowing species closely cohabiting with us to become extinct (video by Allora & Calzadilla); recent anthropogenic disasters (photo series and opera libretto by Allan Sekula); and criminal attempts to brush them under the carpet (Susan Schuppli's installation). The Chernobyl disaster (the subject of Susan Schuppli's artwork) and issues such as recent massive deforestation due to fires in remote areas of the country (photo by Denis Sinyakov) and solutions for local water pollution (interactive project by Critical Art Ensemble) are very close to home, reminding us that Russia is not, after all, an eternal nature reserve, as many would like to believe.

The selection of artistic practices in the Central Gallery engages with what the philosopher Félix Guattari called “ethico-aesthetic” practice, bringing to light the environmental agenda which has dramatically taken the lead position in our shared reality today.