Tomorrows - Notes on the future of the Earth

14 October – 12 November 2023 – Castel San Pietro – Piazzale Castel San Pietro – Verona
Exhibition curated by Jessica Bianchera and Marta Ferretti

In a world that is increasingly questioning the effects of globalisation, the environmental crisis and, in general, the impact of humans on the planet, what are the possible or impossible scenarios we can expect? The TOMORROWS – Notes on the Future of the Earth project, curated by Jessica Bianchera and Marta Ferretti, showcases the reflections of six contemporary artists – Sophia Al Maria, Mo Kong, the SITESIZE collective, Jonas Staal, Natália Trejbalová and Driant Zeneli – on the present and future of the Earth, and will be on display from 14 October to 12 November 2023 in the spaces of Castel San Pietro in Verona. The exhibition, which focuses on videos and moving images, is included in the “Art&TheCity” programme of ArtVerona 2023, as a part of a wide-ranging project that will be on display until the 2024 edition of the renowned contemporary art exhibition in Verona. Indeed, in addition to the exhibition at Castel San Pietro, the project includes a full programme aimed at the general public, with a multidisciplinary content featuring talks, round tables, workshops, screenings and projects for schools, with the involvement of scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, researchers and artists from a variety of disciplines. The first appointment is planned for Saturday 7 October at 4 pm at the Santa Marta University Hub in Verona, on the occasion of the Giornata del Contemporaneo: the round table Il Futuro è Oggi, organised by Contemporanea – University of Verona, kicks off the debate on the themes of the project, and frames the current state of research on future prospects for our planet. Furthermore, during ArtVerona 2023 the Tomorrows UniCredit Residency and Production Award will be launched; this is an award sponsored by UniCredit that invites artists to conduct transdisciplinary reflections in collaboration with experts in the field of ecology and sustainability. A jury of proven fame will identify the project to be developed by the artist during the period of residency study and research abroad, to arrive at the final production of a work or a cycle of works to be presented during ArtVerona 2024.

TOMORROWS – Notes on the Future of the Earth is a project that includes an exhibition, a public programme and a residency and production award, launched by Fondazione Cariverona, UniCredit, ArtVerona, Contemporanea – University of Verona with Urbs Picta and in partnership with the Accademia di Belle Arti statale di Verona (State Academy of Fine Art of Verona), AGIVERONA, Careof, LOOP Barcelona, MA*GA Museo Arte Gallarate; the media partner will be exibart. The exhibition, opening on Friday 13 October at 9 pm, will be hosted until 12 November in the spaces of Castel San Pietro, recently reopened to the public between the restoration site and the archaeological excavations – a highly evocative location, boasting a breathtaking view that wraps around the entire city of Verona, in addition to being a site of great local historical and cultural significance. Six video works belonging to international collections and archives, realised by six well-known artists from Europe, America and Asia will be on display: the common denominator of the works is the transdisciplinary reflection among art, ecology and sustainability, addressing themes such as the interconnection among living beings, biodiversity, socio-cultural dynamics, the interaction of humanity with the environment and the eco-anxiety concept. The result: works that range from documentary to science fiction and fiction, from uchronia to utopia, across vast historical times and geological eras, reflecting on possibilities, perplexities and imaginative alternatives to the current extractive dynamics at the base of a man-Earth relationship that has become unsustainable. “Through anthropological and scientific readings – declare the curators Jessica Bianchera and Marta Ferretti – the artists on display put our observation and interpretation skills to the test, in order to formulate a shared ecology in which various more egalitarian forms of life can survive, live and die in harmony. In general, through the exhibition, the public programme and the award, the project aims at underlining how fertile the contribution of art can be in the contemporary debate on the future of our planet, precisely by virtue of the imaginative capacity and transdisciplinary research that the artists bring into play by combining different skills and languages, as well as encouraging dialogue with the general public. Without claiming to give answers, we rather intend to ask questions and attempt a mapping, albeit partial, of realities and personalities that have so far questioned themselves on these issues, encouraging the knowledge of new initiatives and projects that are emerging and growing exponentially, both in quantitative and qualitative terms.”


In The Magical State (6’09”, 2017) Qatari-American artist, writer and director Sophia Al Maria (USA, 1983) explores the coal extraction process in the La Guajira region in Colombia by associating it with the violent exorcism of a female body. We are close to the border with Venezuela, where one of the largest open-pit mining facilities in Latin America is located, one of the areas of our planet most affected by the industrial revolution and globalisation. Half demon, half heroine, the young protagonist of the film is both the substance and the result of the mining process, but also a strong feminist metaphor of every woman, of every being, that is oppressed and suffocated within the limits of a forced condition and its violence, and who vents their panic against anyone met along their path.

With the installation See Sun, and Think the Shadow (11’11”, 2016), Mo Kong (China, 1990), a multimedia artist and researcher who now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, shares his anxiety about to mining activities in China, his native country. A digital collage, in which archive images, video animations, sounds and symbols of contemporary social media culture come together in a carousel of real and imaginary data that at times resembles a journey through a video game. The work, as the artist claims, is a “miniature replica” of his physical and emotional reaction to the real world and the virtual world, a projection on the abuse of the Earth, on corruption, on governmental censorship and on environmental pollution experienced first hand, up to the final question, whether it is possible that the virtual identities of the network can represent or, even more importantly, replace political figures and systems.

SITESIZE, a collective born in Spain in 2002 and composed by Elvira Pujol Masip and Joan Vila Puig, proposes TERRApolis (1h45’, 2021), a trilogy that is part of the European project “A-PLACE. Linking places through networked artistic practices”. Dedicated to the Spanish city of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, in Catalonia, the film is divided into three parts that explore the three landscapes corresponding to its geography: Puig d’Ossa, El Samontà and La Marina. The result is a journey that investigates the physical, spiritual, human and non-human life of the territory, among immutable natural presences, stories written by the signs of time and actions carried out on the places visited.

94 Million Years of Collectivism, Video Study (13’14”, 2022) by the Dutch visual artist Jonas Staal (The Netherlands, 1981) is a sort of video lesson focused on the Ediacaran geological period, preceding the Cambrian Period, and considered the cradle of complex life forms with an interconnected and interdependent, non-predatory ecology. Hence the questioning of the current conditions of global capitalism, that through neo-Darwinian narratives support extractive predation as a primordial evolutionary drive; on the contrary, the Ediacaran Period tells us about a possible collectivist ecology, lasting 94 million years, yet to be imagined for a more egalitarian future of the Earth.

With the work About Mirages and Stolen Stones (18’50”, 2020), the Slovak artist Natália Trejbalová (Slovakia, 1989) – trained in Milan – returns a speculative version of our Earth that, for unknown reasons, has become flat. Between flat Earth theories and man’s responsibility for the destruction of the planet and its ecosystems, the protagonist of the film is a researcher who investigates an impossible change that occurred five years earlier, and brought with it an impoverishment of human knowledge, incapable by now to understand the complexity of the world. The work is divided into three chapters that challenge the observation and interpretation skills of the spectators, called to continually question the physicality of the matter and its proportions during this imaginative journey to the end of the Earth, and in which they immerse, just to end up alone as they question the loss of the world as we know it.

In the video installation And then I found some meteorites in my room (22’, 2018), second chapter of the trilogy Beneath a surface there is just another surface (2017-2019), Driant Zeneli (Albania, 1983), an artist of Albanian origin and resident in Turin, involves Bujar and Flora, father and daughter coal collectors in the area of the former Metalurgjiko factory, near Elbasan, about fifty kilometres from Tirana. Despite their living conditions, Flora is a DJ, while Bujar cultivates a great interest in space, that led him to develop his own theory on the solar system and the dark matter. Bujar is invited by Zeneli to illustrate his theories, while Flora performs with mixed sounds under the stage name “DJ Sulejmani”, as images transmitted from the International Space Station slide in the background. Poised between reality and possibility, the artist explores the distance between the inhabitants of the Earth and the shuttle, as a metaphor for the attempt to escape gravity. The video addresses the recurring theme of the infinite that resides in the human soul and of that part of the world dispossessed and expropriated, but still capable of desiring and imagining, which risks being left behind by modernity.


On Friday 13 October, the grand opening programme of the exhibition at Castel San Pietro, in Verona, includes a live multimedia performance by LOREM at 9 pm presenting his latest work TESH A/V, followed by SHINOBY’s DJ set at 10 pm. Both events are curated by Path, an avant-garde music festival that since 2014 has been bringing some of the most interesting proposals of the contemporary musical scene to the city of Verona.

TOMORROWS – Notes on the Future of the Earth
Curated by Jessica Bianchera and Marta Ferretti

Dates 14 October – 12 November 2023
Grand opening Friday 13 October 2023, 9 pm – from 7.30 pm to 9 pm reserved VIP programme
Location Castel San Pietro, Piazzale Castel San Pietro, Verona

Opening hours from Tuesday to Friday 10 am-1 pm and 3 pm-6 pm | Saturday and Sunday 10 am-6 pm
Free-admission meetings for the public on Saturdays and Sundays at 10.00 am, 12.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm, during ArtVerona 2023, on weekends thereafter at 10.00 am, 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm.


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