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“Endangered World” at Art Center South Florida
November 20, 2010 @ 8:00 am - January 10, 2011 @ 5:00 pm
by Xavier Cortada
Xavier Cortada’s “Endangered World” project has addressed global biodiversity loss through art installations at the South Pole (2007), North Pole (2008), Holland (2009) and Biscayne National Park (2010) and through online participatory art projects through www.endangeredworld.org.
Life WallAlthough we are using stones to build it, our Endangered World: Life Wall is a different kind of sculpture than the one I built in Holland.. I see this one primarily as a “social sculpture” –a term coined by artist Joseph Beuys (“every one is an artist”). The wall is erected as every participant artist performs an eco-action on behalf of an endangered animal living along one of Earth’s 360 longitudes.
This is not to say that our Life Wall cannot also have a physicality. The wall is, after all, made of stones — each hand-pained by the participant with the longitude where their “adopted” animal struggles for survival.
Our wall isn’t vertical, though. The stones — placed in conspicuous locations (e.g., on top of a desk or night stand) as a daily reminders of the eco-action pledged by participants on behalf of their endangered species — lie flat on a plane across South Florida. And beyond. Indeed, the Life Wall is as large as the farthest distance (think globally) between the two closest stones.
Much like electrons are contained in an atom, I envision our stones are held together as a “wall” across these vast distances by the force of each participant’s eco-actions. The more participants engage in sustainable practices, the stronger the bond.
The stronger our Life Wall.
— Xavier Cortada
Cortada –“Life Wall” participants’ photos
In the gallery space at the entrance of their 924 Lincoln Road building, the Art Center South Florida features Xavier Cortada’s “Endangererd World: Life Wall, an eco-art project he launched at the Hunebed Center in the Netherlands’ Drenthe Province. The installation depicts participants’ online contributions to the project.
Through eco-actions, participants “adopt” one of the 360 endangered animals featured in Xavier Cortada’s “Endangered World: Life Wall.”
On a found stone, participants paint the longitude of the animal they’ve adopted. They keep their marked stone in a conspicuous place (e.g., a paperweight on your desk) as a daily reminder of the sustainable practice they’ve promised to engage in support of their adopted animal. (See participants’ photos.)
Endangered World: Life Wall
Installation of eco-actors’ participation (photo images of marked stones inside sealed, clear, plastic bags; each aligned by the longitude where their adopted animal struggles for survival), 2010.
Sandra Amoretti 105°e | Keanna Angquico 75°e | Christina Anton 48°w | Susette Anzardo 18°e | Melissa Barreto 24°e | Jessica Beck 150°e | Daniel Boyd 175°w | Juan Brizuela 68°w | Zuleimy Castellanos 93°w | Margarit Chu 45°e | Babacar Cisse 0° | Alessandria Clarke 48°e | Javier Cuadra 135°e | Paulina Diaz-Leon 145°w | Ruben Diaz-Neda 111°e | Rosangela Dicostanzo 75°w | Sherline Edme 60°w | Maximilliano Edrei 129°e | Alexandra Fernandez 1°e | Keven Fernandez 179°w | Jennifer Fonseca 109°w | Florencia Garcia de Onrubia 12°w | Brenda Garcia 81°w | Cristina Maria Gomez 149°e | Nicole Gonzalez 40°e | Sean Gonzalez 140°e | Doris Gutierrez 31°e | Luis Hernandez 71°w | Miriam Jerez 10°e | Janice John 135°w | Vivian Jugo 24°e | Soula Lambrakopoulos 133°e | Hector Lans 0° | Marianne Liens 105°e | Ismary Lopez 93°e | Krista Lopez 87°e | Luis Machado 87°e | Ashley Michelle Maldonado 25°e | Gregory Mansur 16°e | Carmen Marco 135°w | Catherine Martin 81°w | Yvonne Martin 150°e | Fabian Martinez 28°w | Maria Rosa Martinez 18°e | Mariluz Martinez 23°e | Christe McDavid 90°w | Maria Mencos 63°e | Johana Mendez 16°e | Vanessa Millan 105°e | Christopher Mitchell 80°e | Gabriel da Rocha Moura 32°e | Andrea Olivares 150°e | Adrian Ortuno 16°e | Gabrielle Palmer 2°w | Anaily Pedraza 26°w | Mark Pereira 14°e | Ryan Perez 87°e | Marie Pierre 63°e | Sophonie Portilus 62°w | Diana Poussin 60°e | Jhormary Ramirez Casas 43°w | Maria Ramirez 63°e | Jackie Roque 131°w | Jose Roque 121°e | Jonathan Rosa 145°e | Tony Sakhieh 60°e | Juan Satizabal 135°w | Gretchen Scharnagl 78°w | Klara Scharnagl 83°w | David Serrano 14°e | Juan Carlos Silva 8°e | Shirley Silva 66°w | Luisa Tamayo 150°e | Ethan Trass 179°w | Christine Trimpler 135°w | Nan Hoang Truong 18°w | Vanessa Valderrama 2°e | Rebecca Valls 75°e | Claudia Vera 150°e | Tessenia Williams 69°e | Karin Yemail 105°w | Solange Zerquera 150°w.
**As of 11/19/2010. Others to be added as they participate. Special thanks to Gretchen Scharnagl and Artistic Expression in a Global Society, a foundational global learning course she co-teaches at Florida International University.