Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Matadero Madrid showcases an artistic essay by Armin Linke on man’s impact on the planet

Exhibition from 12 March to 20 May in Nave 0 at Matadero Madrid, a space run by the Department of Culture
  • The Sorigué Foundation and Matadero Madrid present ‘Blind Sensorium: Visual Anthropology’, the first solo exhibition in Spain by photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke
  • The result of a research project lasting more than ten years, the exhibition explores the concept of the Anthropocene, the name put forward by members of the scientific community for our geological epoch.
  • The project is the culmination of a long-term collaboration between the artist and the Sorigué Foundation, and offers a visual approach to climate change and its landscape from a rigorous yet reflective perspective.
  • For the project, Linke and his team interviewed scientists, politicians and activists and were given access to laboratories, data centres, resource extraction sites, etc.
  • The outcome is an audiovisual installation enhanced by interviews with thinkers and scientists, photographs, quotes, an extensive chronology and other materials that together form a corpus of images and references that encourage us to pause and reflect on the actions of man and to observe and interpret the new natural and artificial landscapes that we inhabit
  • Armin Linke will be available for interviews at Matadero Madrid on Friday the 12th of March between 5 and 9pm and on Saturday the 13th of March. To request an interview or graphic material, please contact comunicació

Matadero Madrid, the Centre for Contemporary Creation of Madrid City Council’s Culture Department, and the Sorigué Foundation present the first solo exhibition in Spain by photographer and documentary filmmaker Armin Linke. The exhibition, entitled ‘Blind Sensorium: Visual Anthropology’ can be visited free of charge in Nave 0 at Matadero Madrid from 12 March to 20 May 2021. Armin Linke's work focuses on documenting the impact of globalisation and infrastructures on different local populations. With this exhibition, a co-production between the Sorigué Foundation and Matadero Madrid, the artist proposes a visual approach to climate change and its material landscape from a rigorous yet reflective perspective.

'Blind Sensorium: Visual Anthropology' is the result of a long-term collaboration between the artist and the Sorigué Foundation to create an extensive project on the Anthropocene - the name put forward by members of the scientific community for our geological epoch due to the significant and well-nigh irreversible impact that human activity has had on our planet’s ecosystems. The work has been presented in various formats in different European exhibitions and cultural programmes over the last few years. This exhibition, the first solo exhibition in Spain of Armin Linke's work, combines different aspects of this research and presents a selection of pieces that address the relationship between planetary ecosystems, political institutions and scientific infrastructures, through a visual analysis of the spaces where climate change has led to conflict.

With this exhibition, Matadero Madrid further develops the line of programming with which it has been tackling issues such as the climate emergency, ecology and sustainability since 2018, with the Instituto Mutante de Narrativas Ambientales (Mutant Institute of Environmental Narratives - IMNA) as its main exponent. Matadero's artistic laboratory for climate is producing new pieces by both Spanish and international artists in a wide range of formats: exhibitions, audiovisuals, texts, podcasts; proposing new forms of storytelling; initiating a television series devoted to climate fictions; promoting speculative design and projects in the field of environmental humanities; imagining the future of journalism; intervening in municipal policies; or, together with a team of researchers and creators, designing a cyborg garden for the Matadero that is capable of tempering the temperatures and the harshness of the site through vegetation. The ‘Blind Sensorium. Visual Anthropology’ exhibition is part of the Institute's programme and will serve as the starting point for a series of conferences, talks and meetings that will explore in depth the themes developed by the exhibition.

About the exhibition
The 'Blind Sensorium' video installation is a synthesis of more than 10 years of field work by Armin Linke and his collaborators Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi. Through the combined use of photographs and film, they have produced a visual anthropology of the politics of climate change that poses such questions as: What is the role of images and representation in today's political landscape? What does it mean to observe processes of which one is an inherent part? To answer these questions, Linke and his team have followed and interviewed scientists, politicians and activists and have been given access to laboratories, data centres, UN negotiation rooms, resource extraction zones and critical sites for the Earth’s ecosystems Their investigation into modern institutions and the role they play in today's world has led them to question whether they are capable of responding to the existential challenges of the present.

The result is a film that narrates this journey and presents a picture of the interconnected relationships, the permanent deadlock between politics, science, economics, finance, culture and the logic of technological innovation. Alongside it, a 26-metre-long timeline will be set up in Matadero's Nave 0 to help situate the scenes and themes addressed in the film, together with additional footage, archive materials that function as footnotes and are accessible via QR codes, and short lectures by researchers Margarida Mendes, John Palmesino, Birgit Schneider, Anna Tsing and Etienne Turpin, all of which contributes to an in-depth study of the different themes.

The third element of this installation is an exclusive selection of photographs from Linke’s archive accompanied by quotes from scientists and theorists such as Ariella Azoulay, Lorraine Daston, Franco Farinelli, Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel and Jan Zalasiewicz, whom the artist has invited to comment on his work. These images, captured around the world, present an artistic investigation into the forces that change the Earth's physiognomy. In this way, 'Blind Sensorium' is constructed as a visual anthropology of the problematic role played by humans and modern societies in the current planetary transformation.

About Armin Linke
For more than 20 years, Armin Linke has explored the question of how humanity uses technologies and knowledge to transform the Earth’s surface and adapt it to its needs. His films and photographs document man-made changes to the land, the sea and the entire biosphere. Linke has been a professor at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe (HfG) and IUAV Venice, as well as a research associate at the MIT Cambridge School of Architecture and Planning, USA. He is currently visiting professor at ISIA Urbino and artist in residence at the KHI Florence - MPI. Some of his most important international exhibitions are: ‘The Appearance of That Which Cannot Be Seen’ at ZKM Karlsruhe, PAC Milan, Ludwig Forum Aachen, Centre de la Photographie Genève; ‘Prospecting Ocean’ at CNR-ISMAR in Venice, 16th Istanbul Biennale, Foto / Industria 2019 in Bologna, BOZAR / Fine Arts Centre in Brussels or Carceri d'Invenzione at the 22nd Milan Triennale. His recent project ‘Blind Sensorium. Il Paradosso dell'Antropocene', conceived in collaboration with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi, and curated by Anselm Franke, was presented as part of the 'Matera European Capital of Culture 2019' programme. The installation 'Alpi' on the contemporary Alpine landscape won the special prize for the best work in the 'Episodes' section of the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale. His joint research project with Estelle Blaschke, 'Image Capital', won the Kubus 2019 prize. Sparda Art Prize.

About the Sorigué Foundation
The Sorigué Foundationpromotes the Sorigué business group's vocation to contribute to society, a group that is committed to the circular economy and has been committed to innovation and sustainability since its origins. The foundation carries out its activities in the social, cultural and educational spheres and is renowned for having one of the most prestigious private collections of contemporary art in Spain. The aim of all the projects it promotes, both its own and in collaboration with other institutions, is to have a positive impact on society, support talent and contribute to cultural development.

Along these lines, Sorigué and its foundation are promoting PLANTA, an innovative project in which creativity and industry converge and which brings together contemporary art, through unique site-specific projects; architecture, business knowledge and a natural and industrial landscape of particular relevance. PLANTA embodies Sorigué's values and promotes synergies and reflection on key issues for our society.

Practical details
An exhibition by Armin Linke
From 12 March to 20 May 2021
Nave 0. Matadero Madrid (Paseo de la Chopera 14)
Free admission until the exhibition is full
Tuesdays to Thursdays from 5 to 9pm Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: from 12 noon to 9pm. Closed on Mondays
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the film will be screened at 5pm and again at 6:42pm
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the film will be screened at 12 noon and at 1:42, 3:24, 5:06 and 6:48pm
Please read the rules to ensure a safe visit


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