Commission as part of All of This Belongs to You
‘The environmental commons belong to all of us. This ownership invites us to re-imagine our collective relationship to natural systems; to re-design and improve our shared environmental health. This is the grand challenge of the twenty-first century.’ – Natalie Jeremijenko
Museums are places that attempt to exclude the natural environment. They block out sunlight, regulate the temperature, filter the air and eliminate plant and animal life. Artist, engineer and ecologist Natalie Jeremijenko argues that this desire for control neglects the important role museums play within the ecology of the city. Through two interventions at the museum she aims to ‘re-build this connection between nature and culture’.
This work, PHENOLOGICALxCLOCK, shows when local organisms bud, bloom, emerge or migrate throughout the year in the area surrounding the V&A. Each colour represents a species of plant, insect, bird or tree, revealing the inter- dependence of urban ecosystems. The clock presents time as seasonal and local, rather than mechanistic. It aims to coordinate our collective attention toward the workings of natural systems.
FARMACYxAGBAGS outside the museum’s main entrance introduces vegetation to the stone architecture. For Jeremijenko, the air shared between humans, plants and animals is a public asset. The quality of this air is the best indicator of the health of the environment and of ourselves.