During a trip through Southern Europe Various Artists were confronted with scenes of completely changed landscapes caused by the construction of hydroelectric dams. Such large projects subsidized by the E.U. are a way to generate energy and to ensure water supply for industrial agriculture at the expense of the original flora, fauna and culture of an ancient landscape. Drowning Bonsai recreates the image of drowned olive groves and confronts us with the extreme impact culture can have on nature.
Água com Gás is part of The Great K an ongoing research by Various Artists on the influences of globalization. Several topics resulted in exhibitions, workshops, publications or are still ongoing, for example: about the food industry (Le Château, Luisa Strina, São Paulo, 2012), the agribusiness (Zea Mays, Muac, Mexico City and Mupo, Museo de Textil, Oaxaca, 2014), on water (Água com Gas, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, 2015),on the commercialisation of belief (Camino Welt, 2016 - ) and on the Walmartization of Europe (Saudade de Europa, Pixelache Festival, 2016 - ).
The title Água com Gás originated in São Paulo at an interview during the build up of the show at Luisa Strina (2012). VA realised that Le Château was part of a bigger plan and invented on the spot the The Great K project. Because they were only drinking water (preferably sparkling water) during the fast (proposed by Morice de Lisle) the water topic got named Água com Gaz.
Various Artists is a Brussels based art collective with 24 members.
Their origins go back to 1993 when visual artist Trudo Engels (°1962) started to spread his (fragmented) artistic practice over several fictional characters. Over a period of almost 15 years he developed an international collective, known today as Various Artists or VA.
The collective is a Gesamtkunstwerk where all research topics and artistic practices of its 24 members come together in collaborative installations or projects.
Some installations and performances by VA include: Lettres d'Ixelles (2011, nadine, Brussels), Le Château (2012, Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paulo), Human Mathematics (2014, Museo Textil, Oaxaca), Q and A (2015, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano), Saudade de Europa (2016, Pixelache Festival, Helsinki).
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