Urban Fauna Lab. Outer Green

4 Sep–31 Oct 2014

Exploring the mutual relations between people, animals and plants in the urban environment and a step towards a new biological politics.

The V–A–C Foundation presents Outer Green, a new project of the Urban Fauna Lab collective. The group was created as an interdisciplinary platform to explore parasitic and symbiotic relationships of people, animals and plants in the urban environment and how all the participants in this process mutually adapted to each other.

The cultivation of domesticated plants is celebrated in the interiors of the Grain pavilion of the VDNKh (Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy), whose interiors depict the Soviet cult of beneficial agricultural crops. The artists from Urban Fauna Lab proclaim equality between all biological species. The artists filled the space with weeds and use them as a metaphor for the evolution of any expansive form of life. These plants spread beyond the territory normally allocated to them by humans.

Such urban parasites as pigeons and rats, the common nettle and dandelion are at one and the same time in conflict with, as well as the product of, the environment. Remaining at the periphery of our attention, they are constantly occupying new territories, expanding new habitats or taking over the empty spaces emerging from urban renovation. The Urban Fauna Lab artists carefully harvest weeds, which open them the door to the world. In this way, in their view, a new urban landscaping policy is shaped which promotes interspecies harmony, a new biopolitical utopia.

Katerina Chuchalina.

Urban Fauna Lab is an art collective which was formed in 2011 in Moscow by the artists Alexei Buldakov and Anastasia Potemkina. The group started its work with the project Urban Fauna Zoo as part of Art Squat Forum (special project of the 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art).  Urban Fauna Lab has participated in a number of Russian and international exhibitions: The False Calculations Presidium (Moscow, 2012), The Way of Enthusiasts (part of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the 2012 Venice Biennale), Monday Begins on Saturday (main project of First Bergen Assembly, 2013), and IK-00 (Venice, 2014).