Our Earth is their Moon, our Moon is their Earth

Sound Installation | glas bodies, light table, sound system, video screen 
Group show, Nature and State, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany, 2022

In his new work, composer, musician, and artist Robert Lippok envisions a utopia. Following the novel “The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. Le Guin, the artist explores possibilities of experiencing individuality within communities as well as the ambivalent space between individual, collective, and political collective-subject.

Lippok‘s work, commissioned by Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden for Nature and State, consists of a sound installation manifested by variously shaped glass objects. The artist‘s material included recordings he made in the immediate vicinity of the Kunsthalle in the grounds around Lichtentaler Allee. The glass bodies amplify and transport the sound, which becomes audible in its particularity and uniqueness, as if under a microscope: looking through the listening glass.


Nature and State

Curators: Çağla Ilk, Misal Adnan Yıldız
Artists: Michael Akstaller, Olga Chernysheva, Ipek Duben, Alia Farid, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Will Fredo, Vibha Galhotra, Malina Heinemann, Joseph Kadow, Stelios Kallinikou, Kavachi, Grada Kilomba, Nicole L’Huillier, Robert Lippok, Nicholas Mangan, Mateja Meded, Silvina Der Meguerditchian, Hani Mojtahedy, Ersan Mondtag, Arjuna Neuman, Manuel Rossner, Christoph Schäfer, Muhannad Shono, Sorawit Songsataya

From climate change to drought, isolation politics to recession, armed conflicts to authoritarian regimes, many of our existential questions, planetary problems and global crises can be formulated only in reference to these two terms; nature and state.

The investigation of continuity and disobedience, possible forms of transformation of the state and the genealogical relationships between future and past are at the center of this project. The exhibition’s curatorial method is one of theater, using the script as a source of storytelling: The Dawn of Everything, A New History of Humanity (2021), by David Graeber and David Wengrow, shifts the focus of our story to questioning the main idea of the state as a denial of the state of nature. Considering how prehistoric communities shaped their decision-making processes, Nature and State pursues the idea of our ancestors might have lived together better than us, and imagines different futures following early feminist science fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin.

This way, the new chapter peacefully departs from a quote by Ursula K. Le Guin: “(…) we have no states, no nations, no presidents, no premiers, no chiefs, no generals, no bosses, no bankers, no landlords, no wages, no charity, no police, no soldiers, no wars.” (The Dispossessed, 1974).

Nature and State is not meant to be a group show in its literal sense: it is an open process that investigates temporary structures, spaces and narratives through artistic perspectives that critically question how we are ruled, controlled and governed, as well as how we can share a common imagination of togetherness.