< Maarten Vanden Eynde
Gravend naar de toekomst
Maarten Vanden Eynde
Jun 17, 2023 - Oct 15, 2023
Museum Eicas, Deventer (Netherlands)
Between the beginning of this century and 2020, massive economic and technological progress took place. In Gravend naar de toekomst (Digging up the Future), Maarten Vanden Eynde (1977) examines the relationship between this unbridled growth spurt and its impact on the earth.

The exhibition - like the publication of the same name - shows work made between 2000 and 2020. Two decades in which our life, work and thinking were radically transformed by the internet, big tech and social media, among other things. Meanwhile, the world's population increased exponentially and with it our consumption and energy use. The consequences are obvious: extreme weather events, finite resources, an abundance of waste and loss of biodiversity.

Vanden Eynde looks back from a distant, unknown future and questions our lifestyle - with incessant cycles of production and consumption. What are we doing? And... in whose interest is it? In doing so, he realises that the era we live in is also referred to as the Anthropocene: with the Ancient Greek word anthropos (human) emphasising that we humans have never before had so much influence on the future of the planet.

Long ago, humans distanced themselves from Neanderthals as homo sapiens. With the term 'homo sapiens sapiens', we went one step further: it stands for not only knowing but also thinking man. Like an archaeologist, Vanden Eynde brings past, present and future together by analysing and examining objects. By looking at how materials are mined, transported and transformed. Inequality and territorial practices are linked to technological and financial power structures. The question is: are we blinded by the myth of progress and is Maarten Vanden Eynde right when, with a wink, he renames humans 'homo stupidus stupidus'?