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Exploitation of Nature

Christian Schmidt-Rasmussens drawing Kill Nature, Nature Kills, demonstrates in a satirical way that human exploitation of nature can backfire with fatal outcome for us. The sun is being suffocated by smoke from the a factory flashing an evil grin. The flower is about to give up the spirit, while the fish casts a fearful glance at the sludge spewing out the factory. A human can also be seen flowing in the water. The eyes stare at the scene in surprise and terror - a typical human reaction to nature's backlash.

People in the western world have always sought to master nature in order to be able to exploit it for their own benefit. This attitude towards nature is fundamental to our modern society – but now nature is threatening to strike back. Nature cannot be forced to bend to peoples' will, and is now demonstrating a fateful reaction to our attempts to control it.

"With the publication of Dialectic of Enlightenment, the German philosophers Adorno and Horkheimer focus among other things on humankind's historical drive to master nature."

(Citation from the catalogue)

The new ideals and philosophies of the Enlightenment do away with the mythological worldview of antiquity, discarding any sanctification of nature. Rationality and common logic can now be seen as people’s new gods, enabling the unbridled exploitation of nature to take off at full speed, with nature as the loser.

"Adorno and horkheimer believe that our desire to conquer nature can be seen in our rational concept of being able to exploit it without limit, depicted as early as antiquity in the Greek poet Homer's tale of Odysseus"

(Citation from the catalogue)

© Odysseus, kopi efter original fra 1. årh. e.Kr.

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