After the international exhibition (re)connecting.earth in Geneva and Berlin in 2021 combined art and sustainability, in spring 2022 Bernard Vienat developed a first chapter of the participatory exhibition in Dessau in a short time with 16 design students from the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, which will be on display at the Federal Environment Agency from the end of June. The exhibition (re)connecting.earth sees itself as a participatory process that continues to develop through collaborations with residents, institutions and associations such as the Anhalt University and the Urban Farm Dessau.
The relationship between nature and humans has been intensely questioned with the increasing perception of climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Today, people even speak of a "crisis of sensibility" due to the loss of a connection with plants and animals. In a creative and playful way, visitors are guided through the exhibition by instructions designed by the students like user manuals. They show how we as humans can actively reunite with animals, plants and other living beings in an emotional way.
"We want to encourage the residents of Dessau to (re)establish an emotional relationship with nature," says Friederike Osing, a student and part of the project. She describes the process of creating the exhibition as follows:
"The introduction to the project was the presentation of international artists from the exhibition (re)connecting.earth. They served as inspiration for us. But discussions about the climate crisis, personal motives, opinions and emotions about it also found a place in the course. Afterwards, an extensive research and the design of an instruction in the form of a poster by each student began, which will now ﬁnd a place in an extraordinary exhibition."
From an instruction for forest bathing, which calls on the students to perceive the forest with all their senses, to an instruction that encourages them to name the weather in order to build up an emotional connection to the environment, there are many implementations that are addressed in the exhibition and encourage them to participate.