Hunting the Baron / Robert Pettena
18 march 2017 / Performance Eroberung des Nutzlosen
Suburbia Granada

Everything in life is changing constantly, whether the urban environment or the countryside, both of which have been in uenced by humans; the urban environment so obviously built, while the countryside has been moulded to t the needs of humans. Through this exhibition Pettena is asking us to look with new eyes at urban and rural landscapes, non-judgmentally, paying close attention.

Hunting the Baron refers to a novel by Italo Calvino about a man, the Baron, who decides to leave the city to live in the trees. He soon discovers that he enjoys living in the tree tops better than living on the ground, so he stays there, communicating with people below but refusing to come down. He is detached from urban life, viewing it from a di erent perspective. Pettena will exhibit a video of the Baron leaping from branch to branch through the tree tops, followed by someone we perceive but cannot see, someone who is unable to catch up with the Baron.

He will also exhibit his Jungle junction installation, a bar built from green saplings and planks, which will focus on the fascination people who inhabit an urban environment have with the natural environment from which they are alienated.

There will be large format photos of scenes from nature, each containing a discordant note: in one case a super eight lm camera: to represent the recording, analysing, studying and eventually coming to the defence of the natural environment; in another a record player, to produce sound. This re ects the futility of trying to conquer nature, much as Herzog does in his iconic film, Fitzcaraldo: the Conquest of the Useless, where nature always wins in the end.

There will also be a performance in which Pettena will entrap a young woman within a wooden structure. This again speaks of the ways in which we are trapped within the urban environment.

This installation is a meditation on the relationship between the urban and rural landscape and our perception of them.