Climate Propagandas, Video Study
The work Climate Propagandas, Video Study (2020, HD video, color, sound, 16 min), explores how the climate crisis is interpreted and weaponised within various ideological discourses.
While liberal climate propaganda argues that ecological collapse is the responsibility of human individuals, rather than extractivist corporations, libertarian climate propaganda considers the climate breakdown as a new resource for geomarketing and interplanetary colonisation. And while conspiracist climate propaganda claims climate change is nothing but a hoax to enforce population control, eco-fascist climate propaganda takes it as an opportunity to double down on the question who, in ecosystem collapse, has the racial right to survive and who does not.
Through examples of popular and political culture, from the nature documentaries of David Attenborough to the Marvel superhero franchise, the video study attempts to dissect the conflicting realities each of these climate propagandas brings about.
Jonas Staal is a visual artist whose work deals with the relation between art, propaganda, and democracy. He is the founder of the artistic and political organisation New World Summit (2012). Together with Florian Malzacher he co-directs the training camp Training for the Future (2018–ongoing), and with human rights lawyer Jan Fermon he initiated the collective action lawsuit Collectivize Facebook (2020-ongoing). With writer and lawyer Radha D’Souza he founded the Court for Intergenerational Climate Crimes (2021) and with Laure Prouvost he is co-administrator of the Obscure Union.
Among other exhibitions, the following can be mentioned: Art of the Stateless State (Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2015), After Europe (State of Concept, Athens, 2016), The Scottish-European Parliament (CCA, Glasgow, 2018) and Museum as Parliament (with the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2018-ongoing). His projects have been exhibited widely at venues such as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, M_HKA in Antwerp, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the Nam June Paik Art Center in Seoul, as well as the 7th Berlin Biennale, the 31st São Paulo Biennale and the 12th Taipei Biennale.
Publications include Nosso Lar, Brasília (Jap Sam Books, 2014), Stateless Democracy (with co-editors Dilar Dirik and Renée In der Maur, BAK, 2015), Steve Bannon: A Propaganda Retrospective (Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2018) and Propaganda Art in the 21st Century (The MIT Press, 2019).
Staal completed his PhD research on propaganda art at the PhDArts program of Leiden University, the Netherlands.