AD MINOLITI Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush
Baltic – Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
July 24, 2021 – May 08, 2022
Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush is Ad Minoliti‘s first solo show in the UK. Minoliti uses feminist and queer theory to generate alternative interpretations of painting, design, architecture, art history and visual language. Trained as a painter, they draw on the rich legacy of geometric abstraction in Latin America, such as Argentina’s Arte Madí and the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención, both founded in 1945, which embraced playfulness in painting and painted on irregular shaped canvases, sometimes experimenting with three-dimensional objects.
Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush has been conceived as a critical speculation of Biosphere 2, the world’s largest Earth science experiment launched in 1984, in the Arizona desert. Funded by oil tycoon, Ed Bass, Biosphere 2 was created to study whether or not humans could create and sustain life in an artificial environment such as space stations. B2’s team tried – consequently failing – to isolate eight people (all white Americans and one European) for two years. This monumental experiment is a perfect example of the space race being an extractivist colonising endeavour, enhancing the interests of the already powerful – including major economic and military institutions – and exacerbating pre-existing detrimental processes such as wars, economic inequality, and environmental degradation.
Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush intends to work in the opposite direction to Biosphere 2. Its environment has been conceived as a community centre open to all, offering a space for intersectional feminist education and fantasy. The exhibition features Minoliti’s ongoing project The Feminist School of Painting, transforming part of the gallery space into an active classroom. Through bi-weekly painting workshops, the school will deconstruct historical narratives and reimagine the traditional genre of landscape painting from a feminist, intersectional and queer perspective.
In partnership with a multidisciplinary group of artists, academics, writers, and activists, the workshops will revaluate the structure of art education and promote accessibility, creativity and curiosity over any art-specific expertise. Building on Minoliti’s interest of shedding light on feminist and queer artistic practice, the exhibition also includes an international library of queer and feminist zines, which will grow during the course of the exhibition.