Andrew Rogers Venice Biennale Interview
In the lead up to Andrew’s unveiling of his collateral exhibition “We Are” at the forthcoming Venice Biennale, Rogers shared his thoughts with “Dream Idea Machine” about how globalisation, cultural diversity and the intersection of ideas affects and influences the art world and how his projects are conceived and determined.
Andrew Rogers* (Australian Land Artist):
Since 1998 I have explored cultural diversity and the global intersection of ideas and peoples through my ongoing project Rhythms of Life, the world’s largest contemporary land art project. Across disparate locations spanning 16 countries and 7 continents – including remote deserts, fjords, gorges, Altiplano, mountain valleys and a frozen lake – I have collaborated with over 7,500 people to create 51 structures that together form a connected set of drawings visible from space. These geoglyphs – or stone sculptures – address globalization and our shared humanity.
Using basic elements of rocks and earth, tools used to shape our world for a millennia, I work with communities to create symbols reflexive of both local histories and our shared global reality. There is synergy between our symbology: we are all the same but different. This project establishes consecrated spaces by creating structures that denote a separation from the ordinary, speculate about our shared histories, and enter the domain of myth making. These ‘ruins’ act as catalysts for reflection, providing a much needed response to the continual flux and turmoil of today.
The project also marks the first use of satellites to capture a connected set of contemporary sculptured structures across the Earth. Evident in satellite imagery from as high as 500-800 kilometres (310-500 miles) above the Earth’s surface –these images reinforce that no matter how large people’s endeavours are, they amount to only a speck in space. Created to last over 100 years, while erosion and human activity will take a toll, these structures will act as traces of and monuments to the cultures that imagined them. Their forms link us to the past – from Neolithic structures such as Stonehenge to the Nazca lines in Peru – as well as to the future. They – and we – occupy only a moment in time.
We define our existences with the interplay of space and time. We live in a world where technology is constantly advancing but people are staying where they were. Our roots are in ancient civilisations and cultures whose legacy we carry around with us and which will continue into the future.
*Andrew Rogers will present a collateral exhibition to the Venice Biennale at the garden courtyard of Palazzo Mora. “We are” is comprised of 8 large bronze and stainless steel sculptures. The works act as a metaphor for the dichotomy of human nature, with the rough, organic outer surfaces representing our physical selves while the delicate, polished interiors reflect the internal and personal world of our thoughts.