Eastern European Collectors
Knoll Galria Budapest


HU  EN  DE  

Age Of The Solastalgia

18. May - 24. July 2021.

Participating artists: Àkos Birkás, Paul Horn (AT), Mariann Fercsik (GB), Gideon Horváth, Bartosz Kokosinski (PL), Csaba Nemes, Kamen Stoyanov (BU), Tibor W. Horváth

Curator: Erzsébet Pilinger

Unfortunately, in the current health situation, we are not able to have an opening event.
We look forward to welcoming you at our usual opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 14.00-18.30, Saturday: 11.00-14.00
Due to government regulations, visitors are required to wear a face covering mask and keep a safe distance.
When nature’s known processes became unknown, and the familiar scene drastically changed, psychological symptoms such as quandary, sorrow, or the feeling of lacking something could arise. The state of this constant anxiety manifests itself in physical malfunctions, as philosopher Glenn Albrecht observed – and analysed – in the early 2000s. He used the word “solastalgia” to describe a special kind of melancholy first observed among Australian farmers, aboriginals and people living near open-pit mines and power plans. All the symptoms were connected to the disproportionate decay and the loss of shelter. “Solastalgia”, similarly to “nostalgia”, is composed of Latin “solar-” (belonging to the Sun or the Earth), “solacium” (solace, comfort, relief) and Greek “-algia” (pain) to indicate a gloom-like syndrome that needs to be healed.
Disproportionate change in forms of storms, floods or droughts caused by industrial activities, pollution, deforestation and real estate development leads to incapacity, social isolation, and deprivation resembling “nostalgia”, described among seventeenth-century soldiers stationed afar, but now we could lose our homes without even leaving the house. Suffering from “solastalgia” in a now-foreign and grim environment, everyday work along with remembrance became difficult – even impossible. Topped with the force to leave, change one’s life, and go into an uncertain future, we might lose ourselves as well.
According to Albrecht, thanks to rapid climate change, resource exploitation, and the decrease of biodiversity, more and more of us will experience solastalgia. Thus, the psychosomatic results of ecological transformations change the living conditions of entire communities. But for realizing an ecological psychology, this sickness cannot be treated. The ecological rapture could be wound up by limiting non-sustainable practices and providing cultural propositions – via art – to environmental degradation. Here, solastalgia is seen as a critical understanding of environmental damages caused by capitalocene societies.
Our exhibition offers a glimpse into solastalgic landscapes. The artworks, often with humour, try to connote processes of remembrance, cognition, psyche, and change of identity. They present an opportunity to examine how affected we are by environmental decline and to reexamine traditional understandings of the landscape genre (sublimity, transcendence, idyll, myth). We live in a time of solastalgia when an intensified natural phenomenon – a virus – rages over us. When we add “gothic”, “ecogothic”, “dark landscape”, “dark ecology” and “third landscape” to our terminology, we reach an understanding of Human and “Environmental” not to be separable. Thus, this “Environmental” – the living, the unliving and the mythical “spirit of place” – means not only the protection of our planet (“Environmental”) but the Human as well. We ask ourselves: Is it possible to join forces with the “Environmental” deprived of its autonomy? A society standing on new principles, a society where there is no “cheap nature” could save us from James Lovelock’s “The Revenge of Gaia”?
Translated by Márton Sóti