Marie Vermont

Climate Contingency

Instead of a road, a flowing stream, its banks populated by cacti. No cars to clog up the city; instead, they have been converted into a pair of headphones for a bird’s listening pleasure. The superstructure of a cruise ship doubles up as a ‘green’ living skyscraper, its energy supplied by lightning. These are the exaggerated and humorous multiverses that artist Marie Vermont has produced with her visuals created especially for Cℓose/d. Typical Viennese buildings, architectural utopia, animals and fantastical objects in outsized proportions all have their place within a shared habitat.

The artist literally builds new worlds out of found image material, which she fragments and heavily edits, referencing the surroundings of KUNST HAUS WIEN in the process. The works are not only to be displayed on an advertising pillar near the Hundertwasserhaus and an illuminated advertising space on Donaulände, but also circulated in the form of a free poster and free postcards featuring four different motifs.

Vermont’s brightly coloured climate collages explore what the urban space might look like in the future, in the face of global warming, and speculate with unexpected utopia. How are more and more people to live together sustainably in urban environments? How will we be living in the future, and what might an ecological housing complex look like? How will vegetation adapt to the changes in climatic conditions? How can the extremes of weather be harnessed for the purposes of energy generation? These are just some of the questions underlying Marie Vermont’s visual thought experiments on the nonconsumerist public space. As in other works by the artist, the concept of the ‘commons’ or ‘common land’, i.e. land and resources collectively owned and managed by ‘commoners’, plays an important role.

Shifting between the impossible and the possible, between seriousness and humour, Marie Vermont’s climate collages are an attempt to broaden our imagination to reflect on how our shared living space could be designed.

* 1989 in Graz, lives and works in Vienna.

With her visual worlds created especially for CLOSE/D, Marie Vermont creates overdrawn and humorous multiverses that are circulated free of charge by means of posters and postcards. Her colorful climate collages ask what the future of urban space might look like in the face of global warming. By displaying her work on public advertising spaces around KUNST HAUS WIEN, the artist speculates on unexpected utopias.

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