The Artist

Michael Pinsky has been selected for a commission with Climart. 

Michael Pinsky is a British artist whose international projects have created innovative and challenging works in galleries and public spaces. He has undertaken many residencies that explore issues which shape and influence the use of our public realm. Taking the combined roles of artist, urban planner, activist, researcher, and resident, he starts residencies and commissions without a specified agenda, working with local people and resources, allowing the physical, social and political environment to define his working methodology.

His work has been shown at: TATE Britain; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu; Saatchi Gallery; Victoria and Albert Museum; Institute for Contemporary Art, London; La Villette, Paris; BALTIC, Gateshead; Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow; Modern Art Oxford, Milton Keynes Gallery, Cornerhouse, Manchester; Liverpool Biennial, Centre de Création Contemporaine, Tours; Armory Center of the Arts, Los Angeles and the Rotterdam International Architectural Biennial.

Dr Michael Pinsky graduated from the Royal College of Art. He has received awards from the RSA, Arts Council England, British Council, Arts and Business, the Wellcome Trust and his exhibition Pontis was shortlisted for the prestigious Gulbenkian Museums Award.

The commission

Pollution Pods

Six geodesic domes are connected to form a ring. Within each dome the air quality of six global cities is recreated. A carefully mixed recipe emulates the relative presence of ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide which pollute these cities. Starting from the hosting city, the visitor will pass through increasingly polluted cells, from dry and cold locations to hot and humid.

The release of toxic gases from domestic and industrial sources both increase the rate of global warming and have a direct effect on our present day health. In the West, in cities such as London, one in five children suffer from asthma. Whilst in the developing countries such as Delhi, over half the children have stunted lung development and will never completely recover. However, this pollution is difficult to understand through images, as the smog of such as Delhi seems almost romantic and much of the most dangerous toxins are not visible at all.

Much of this pollution is driven by the insatiable appetite of capitalist consumerism.  Whilst we here in the developed world live in an environment with relatively clean air, people in countries such as China and India are being poisoned by the air borne toxins created from industries fulfilling orders from the West.

The experience of walking through the pollution pods demonstrates that these worlds are interconnected and interdependent. Our need for ever cheaper goods is reflected in the ill-health of many people in world and in the ill-health of our planet as a whole. In this installation we can feel, taste and smell the environments that are the norm for a huge swathe of the world’s population. Perhaps the visceral memory of these toxic places will make us think again before we buy something else we don’t really need.

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