On at JCAF: ‘Ecospheres’ Group Exhibition Explores How We Live in Harmony with Nature


The Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation (JCAF) just unveiled their 2024 exhibition titled Ecospheres, a dense body of work that hopes to start a conversation around ecology, the environment, climate and the natural world through the concept of making-with (living with). “The process of making-with suggests that nothing makes itself,” says JCAF’s Executive Director, Clive Kellner. “When we make-with, we are inextricably bound to the earth. There is a sense that we – as humanity – are responsible for the earth and all living creatures as a form of stewardship.”


What is Ecospheres about?

This art exhibition in Johannesburg unpacks the notion of Symbioscene and the belief that humans are designed to live as part of a harmonious interaction between all living creatures. This is opposed to the period we are currently living in, known as the Anthropocene, where human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

Based on the elements of Water, Air and Earth, the exhibition is divided into three Atmosphere Rooms. These Atmospheres function as conceptual spaces that foreground and amplify various artists and artworks in relation to the thematic ideas of the exhibition. Water is engaged as a mediator connecting the natural world to people, places and identity.

The properties of Air as both a political and poetic construct are examined through the bonds of kinship, migration, diaspora and the lingering effects of atmospheric violence. The section on Earth embodies ideas of indigenous knowledge and sustainability, exploring how local indigenous knowledge informs the creation of ideas that shape art, culture and food.


How to explore this immersive art exhibition in Johannesburg

Ecospheres is an immersive experience that includes installations of hydroponic plants, oceanic-inspired knitted textiles, botanic photography, sound and meditative paintings of migratory birds. Visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy a newly built Reading Room within the gallery.

Featured artists in this group exhibition include artists Zizipho Poswa, Bronwyn Katz, Jonah Sack, Russell Scott, Zayaan Khan and Coila-Leah Enderstein from South Africa, Sutapa Biswas and Rithika Merchant from India, Michael Tsegaye from Ethiopia, Zina Saro-Wiwa from Nigeria, Ximena Garrido-Lecca, Mater Iniciativa, Alejandra Ortiz de Zevallos Rodrigo Peru,  Isabella Celis from Colombia, and Ernesto Neto from Brazil.

Award-winning architects Wolff Architects constructed the space as a library for one book the Ecospheres Reader, and is intended for convivial gatherings and discussions.Ecospheres

All about JCAF’s Worldmaking research theme

The Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation (JCAF) is launching a new three-year research theme called Worldmaking, which refers to how we collectively make the spaces that we inhabit around us through symbolic practices. Over the next three years, JCAF will explore this concept through a trilogy of exhibitions, along with an accompanying series of talks and publications. 

“The human drive towards meaning-making leads us to both consciously and unconsciously build our world from social conditioning, scientific rationality, artistic traditions and our own struggle for survival,” says JCAF’s Executive Director, Clive Kellner.

Ecospheres is the first exhibition in the series and opened to the public on 31 May 2024.

Where to see it

Cost: Admission to JCAF is free and by appointment only. Reserve your appointment here

When: Running until 7 December 2024. Thursday to Saturday, based on bookings. Closed on Sunday, Monday and public holidays
Where: No 1 Durris Road, Forest Town, Johannesburg

Website: jcaf.org.zaEmail: info@jcaf.org.za
Tel: 010 900 2204
Instagram: @foundation_jcaf

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest events

Leave A Comment