The Coalition Helping The Art World Tackle Climate Change
The art world consists of a network of crisscrossing artists, gallerists and critics travelling to art fairs, biennials and residencies across the globe. However, during the pandemic, travel slowed down; those living outside of central hubs could catch up with talks online and art fairs turned to virtual viewing rooms.
This pause led many to question the frenetic speed of city-hopping and its impact on the environment. That’s where the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) comes in. Founded in 2020 with outposts in London and Berlin, its member galleries, museums and publishers are teaming up to change how the art world thinks about climate change. Their aim is to encourage organisations to reduce their carbon footprint by 50% by 2030.
Alongside the GCC, here are some other institutions pledging to do things differently:
- London’s Serpentine Gallery launched General Ecology – an ongoing project featuring publications, reading groups, podcasts and interventions by an array of artists and writers.
- This year’s La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk Of Dreams, is putting the environment front and centre by asking all participants to reduce and offset their carbon emissions.
- The Climate Museum in New York – the first institution in the US dedicated to changing public perceptions of climate change – runs initiatives including art projects raising awareness about fossil fuels, public talks and events.
- Last year, Hauser & Wirth gallery hired its first global head of environmental sustainability tasked with producing a ‘carbon budget’ for each exhibition, reducing emissions and supporting carbon removal initiatives. It is also involved with Art For Acres, a non-profit land conservation initiative founded by artist Haley Mellin.
Vanessa Peterson is a writer and associate editor at Frieze magazine, based in London