There is a lot to say about the reasons that led us to create villa villa: a pressing need to leave the city for the countryside, to slow down and connect to the geological time of natural processes, to experiment with new ways of operating as ecologically-sensitive artists and curators, to facilitate research, production and presentation of artistic practices outside of the urban context, to support art practitioners in engaging with ideas of contemporary sustainability, to grow as a community that care for people and planet, etc.
The list of reasons is long, as are our objectives, which can be read on our website along with our mission statement and manifesto; we therefore decided to dedicate this first newsletter to one aspect of our work that seems necessary, if not inevitable, in the face of the current capitalist eco-crisis: reducing and improving our environmental and social impact.
‘It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism’ — Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Žižek
It can indeed be difficult, even scary, to imagine the end of a system in place in the world for so long (at least globally since the 16th century, for some historians, local pockets of capitalism were present long before), a system that is so deeply rooted in all aspects of our daily lives, that it seems impregnable. Yet, we can transform this feeling of overwhelm into a feeling of excitement. The excitement of imagining a world that isn’t based on the exploitation and oppression of human and nature, but a free, fair world that equally respects human people and more-than-human beings and landscapes.
This feeling can also be transformed to create empowerment in the context of climate change, such as when artists use their creativity to find solutions to problems of waste and toxicity within artistic practices. See for instance the work of Future Materials Bank, a meeting place of materials for artists that proposes non-toxic, biodegradable or otherwise sustainable alternative materials.