According to Giorgia Calò, Stefano Cagol’s “The Time of the Flood” is “a narrative bridge between two time zones: the time of the myth – here embodied by the archetypal and timeless image of the great flood, as told in the Book of Genesis; and the time of contemporary history, which urges us to face our reckless attitude to nature. With this project, the flood becomes for the artist not only the symbol of climate change; it also stands out as a concept of its own, incorporating much of the research carried out since the beginning of his career, so much so that this new work – and its episodes – is a sum and yet a step further; however what stays throughout this path is the artist’s constant desire to question our awareness.”
Presented as a two-channel video installation featuring six episodes which reflects on our relationship with nature, the imminent danger and the flood as the summa of all the upheavals – “The Time of the Flood” by Stefano Cagol (*1969, Trento, Italy; lives and works in the Dolomites) started in November 2019 and became prophetic of the current state of affairs. Inspired by the biblical image of the great flood and continuing a line that sees art, science and myth in continuous dialogue, “The Time of the Flood” investigates global issues such as extreme weather events, rising sea levels, the disappearance of glaciers, the mutation of winds, energy sources, and extinction.
Borrowing the notion of “hyperobjects” – as coined by philosopher Timothy Morton in his eponymous book Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World published in 2013 – the artist looks at “things” that are in front of our eyes and yet – due to their fast magnitude, due to their dramatically diffused, multiform and changeable nature – are impossible to grasp. According to Cagol, water and fire, floods of unprecedented proportions, fires of incomparable magnitude, desertification and sea level rise are the oxymoronic embodiments of the complex system of reality’s change-in-progress; therefore such state is so widespread and multifaceted that it requires new tools, not only to understand it, but even to perceived it. Cagol’s interest in Noah’s flood comes from its being so clear, definite, monolithic and shared in the collective feeling; however, what intrigues him is also its underlying idea of subversion of the status quo. Echoing, or rather envisioning, the current scenario and the global crisis that is consequential to the Covid-19 pandemic, the artist declares that “We are global warming. We are pandemics. We are the flood.”
“Stefano Cagol: The Time of the Flood” is guest-curated by Giorgia Calò.
The exhibition is accompanied by printed matter in Hebrew, Arabic and English and an exhibition tour in Hebrew and English on March 20; it will be preceded by a Zoom roundtable moderated by the artist on December 9.
“Stefano Cagol: The Time of the Flood” has been previously presented in different iterations at the Italian Cultural Institutes in Berlin and Vienna, in collaboration with Momentum Berlin and the Italy Israel Foundation for Culture and the Arts.
The exhibition, part of “Giornata del contemporaneo – Italian contemporary Art 2020,” is supported by Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Tel Aviv and the Italian Council (6th Edition, 2019) program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.
Stefano Cagol: The Time of the Flood
April 2, 2021
December 11, 2020