1. June – 25. November 2013
Serra dei Giardini, Venice
The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show was curated by artist Søren Dahlgaard with deputy curators Elena Gilbert & Microclima, first shown at the Official Collateral Event of the 55th Venice Biennale with Museum of Everything at Serra dei Giardini, 2013.
Featuring internationally well-known artists such as Bik Van der Pol, Antti Laitinen, Christian Falsnaes, SUPERFLEX, Rirkrit Tiravanija and 10 artists from Maldives, The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show is a mobile touring exhibition that acts to promote environmental and political awareness. Educational and aesthetically inventive, the exhibition consists primarily of non-physical artworks such as performance, video, games & music.
Dahlgaard developed the project in response to the environmental and political plight of the Maldives. As a chain of low-lying atolls the Maldives, like many other island nations, are under grave threat from rising sea levels due to climate change. Politically, the Maldives have also struggled for many years under dictatorship until a brief period of democracy with the presidency of Mohamed Nasheed from 2008 – 2012. In 2012, members of the former regime forced Nasheed to resign at gunpoint. Since then many art organisations have been forced to close and there are reports of creative practitioners being abused and suppressed. Recognizing the necessity to react against the return to dictatorship, Dahlgaard spilt from the Maldives National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (that he initiated with climate activist and former President Nasheed in 2010) and established The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show. As a politically independent and mobile project, The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show represents movement in all aspects – physical and mental, political and environmental. Dahlgaard, a previous long term resident of the Maldives, explains:
“Exodus refers to the majority of the Maldivian population that wishes to escape the unprecedented events in the Maldives of unbelievable acts of brutality, polarized discourse, and repression of human rights. Exodus also refers to the climate change issue in the Maldives, which can lead to the entire Maldivian population becoming climate refugees due to the country’s status as the first country to be underwater due to global warming.”
VICE documentary on the making of the exhibition in Venice – The Ideological Guide by e-flux, The Independent UK, ArtAsiaPacific Almanac issues 2014, 2015 & 2016 Hong Kong, Monopol Germany, Aljazeera, uncube magazine, Weekend Avisen newspaper Denmark on the politics behind, National Radio Denmark, National Radio New Zealand, KILL SCREEN NYC, The New Zealand Herald, ArtnewsNew Zealand, Circuit Radio Interview, EyeContact review & ClockTower Radio interview New York, Kunsten.nu article, Denmark.
TOUR of The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show:
1. June – 25. November 2013 Venice Biennale, Italy.
8. March – 13. July 2014 Te Tuhi Arts Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.
21. September – 5. October 2014 Silent Barn Art Center, New York.
27. September 2014 – 15. March 2015 CCA Andratx Mallorca, Spain.
20. April – 17. May 2015 ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE2015 Melbourne, Australia.
27. June – 26. July 2015 Laznia Art Center Gdansk, Poland.
September 2017 – January 2018 Museum Het Domein, Holland.