Let’s start the year 2021 with 21 items of good news and let us voluntarily place ourselves under the sign of optimism, according to a famous quote by Antonio Gramsci: “We must combine the pessimism of reason with the optimism of will”.
The year 2020, so unprecedented, has led us to constantly adapt, develop and invent new content to continue to share in this newsletter each month with you. Our passion for contemporary art and the environment endures, despite the massive ongoing cancellations of exhibitions, the stoppage of projects, artists’ concerns, etc…
Shall we take a look back at the year 2020 to find some optimism there? All of the articles, projects and interviews published in this newsletter are also available here.
Because we believe gender equality and diversity are key, we measured them in 2020: 50% of the artists interviewed are women and they represent 40.6% of all artists mentioned, 20% of the artists interviewed are non-Western and they represent 30,5% of all artists mentioned.
We can do even better in 2021 and we intend to!
It will be another year of change for Impact Art News: new sections, new formats, new collaborations and a new name!

The United States will join the Paris Climate Agreement again on February 19, as decided by the new American President Joe Biden.

The Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland will host an immersive solo exhibition by Olafur Eliasson, from April 18 until July 11, exploring the link between nature and culture.

Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas will present her research on animal migration at the US-Mexico border, as part of a solo exhibition at the Rubin Center for Visual Arts in El Paso, Texas, USA, next fall.

Two of the world’s biggest climate and biodiversity gatherings, organized by the United Nations, will be held in the fall: COP26 on Climate in Glasgow, UK and COP15 on Biodiversity in Kunming, China.

The first Helsinki Biennal will be held on the island of Vallisaari in Finland from June 12 to September 26. Its two curators, Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola, also integrate its ecological impact, via a carbon footprint and a specific environmental program with EcoCompass.

Photo: Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola, Helsinki Biennaali, by Matti Pyykkö

New York’s MoMA will exhibit this Summer “Broken Nature” – in collaboration with the Milan Triennial – concerning design and architecture that is regenerative and creates new relationships between man and the environment.

China banned all imports of solid waste on 1 January.

The young French artist Tiphaine Calmettes places living at the heart of her solo exhibition, which will be held at the Centre international d’art et du paysage on the island of Vassivière in France from March 7.

The Franco-Swiss artist Julian Charrière is among four finalists for this year’s prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize, which has promoted the French art scene since 2000. The winner will be announced on October 18.

Anglo-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare will inaugurate his new artistic residency project “Guest Artists Space (G.A.S.)” in Nigeria this November. It includes a rural residency called “Ecological Green Farm (E.G.F.)” in Ijebu.

Photo: Yinka Shonibare with his installation “The British Library”, by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images

Two-thirds of people believe climate change is a global emergency, according to a United Nations survey of 1.2 million people in 50 countries published in January.

A monograph by Polish artist Agnieszka Kurant will be published by Sternberg Press and MIT Press in December. Entitled “Collective Intelligence”, this book is devoted to her work on bacteria, animals, social movement, social networks, etc… and brings together contributions from scientists and philosophers.

At the next United Nations Climate Conference, COP26 in Glasgow, Irish artist John Gerrard will respond to the alarm call of the 170 Tonga Pacific Islands, victims of global warming, and support their campaign, through a monumental installation.

The Carmignac Foundation on the Porquerolles Island in France, will host a large contemporary art exhibition in Spring 2021 dedicated to the ocean and nature, entitled “The Imaginary Sea”.

At 90, the great botanical artist herman de vries goes cross-country skiing! He has four exhibitions this year, in Bahrain, Switzerland and Germany.

Photo: herman de vries, 25-01-2021, Steigerwald, by julia henfling

The next IUCN World Conservation Congress will be held from September 3 to 11 in Marseille and will host an exhibition of contemporary art on biodiversity for the first time in its history. The curator of this exhibition is Alice Audouin (President Founder of Art of Change 21 and editor-in-chief of this letter).

Studio Formafantasma won this January the famous Wallpaper* Design Award 2021, for its unique use of ecological materials in its designs.

Italian artist and activist Paolo Cirio will exhibit a new series of works on Capitalocene, “Natural Sovereignty” and organize a symposium on climate justice at the National Gallery of Art in Capri, Italy.

Art of Change 21 will publish the first eco-design guide for contemporary art next fall.

The Cordoaria Nacional in Lisbon will host the first Ai Weiwei exhibition in Portugal this June 4, called “Rapture”.

Belgo-Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga’s solo exhibition “Uncertain Where the Next Wind Blows” is still running until May 23 at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo, Sweden.

Photo: “Uncertain Where the Next Wind Blows”, Henie-Onstad/Facebook Page

A selection by Alice Audouin

January 2021

Find the Impact Art News n°26 – January 2021

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