Andrea Juan

ANDREA JUAN, Art in Antarctica

Antarctica Project    2005 / 2013

The light is so intense and bright that it modifies the colors throughout the day, while the horizon line blends into a white plane where the sun bounces and never sets.

A deep and vivid feeling seizes us when, at the end of a long voyage, we step on Antarctic soil, a soil covered with fossils. As sea, rock, and time, Antarctica is today the largest natural freshwater reserve for humankind.  Being there is to witness a different world on this very same planet, to venture into the wilderness, into a new place that cannot compare with what we already know, with no schedules, no currency, and without the facts of everyday life. We must adapt to the weather and the severity of the freezing gales, where the beauty of the vastness of space and the extreme temperatures are both juxtaposed. A virgin continent operating as an experimental laboratory in every discipline, naturally including culture and art. Our way of thinking changes in Antarctica, which thus becomes an ideal place for the artist’s task.

I attempt to ponder on the calving of large masses of ice due to global warming, on the damage and indifference, on the art from the extremes. Let us imagine ever-lasting icebergs, fossilized remains, zero pollution, expeditions and challenges in a continent of cooperation destined for peace. Taking art to Antarctica is to remind the world of its frozen seas, its species, and its icebergs, and how important they are for the terrestrial ecosystem.

The project I conducted in Antarctica with video installations, photos, and performances in the course of nine expeditions ponders on the effects of climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula and is based upon the research of scientists from the Dirección Nacional del Antártico (National Antarctic Affairs), regarding, for instance, the presence of methane gas and the disappearance of ice shelves. The idea was to take art to Antarctica and develop short-lived sites-specifics as a praise of sorts, displaying a peaceful presence. And once the exhibition came to an end, the biosphere was to be left just as it had been found. The only trace/work that has remained is a series of video and photographic records plus the recollections of the inhabitants. 

Andrea Juan was born in 1964 in Buenos Aires, Argentina 

Juan works with photography, digital video, graphic art and installations. In 2005 to 2014 she carried out performances and video installations in Antarctica based on scientific research related to climate change. She has participated in 9thAntarctic Campaigns as Art Researcher up to now. 

During 1996/1998 she developed a project on non-toxic printmaking with Photopolymers and co-founded “Ultraviolet”. She delivered Non-toxic printmaking Seminars in Argentina and Brazil. 

Since 1999 Juan has been a Professor of Art at National University of Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires. 

She is currently Head of Cultural Projects at National Antarctic Bureau from the Ministry of Foreign Office and worship, Argentine Republic. www.dna.gov.ar 

She is represented by Praxis International Art, New York – Buenos Aires. www.praxis-art.com