Nicholas Mangan’s video work A World Undone (2012) is included in The Recent, a group exhibition that considers a conceptual world of geological, evolutionary, human and environmental time. Exploring what art can do to stretch the human imagination, the exhibition aims to situate our actions and impact within a deeper, future-oriented timeframe. The geological ruminations that underpin the exhibition are deeply rooted in Edinburgh—a city punctuated by a dormant volcano—where eighteenth century geologists James Hutton, and later Charles Lyell (whose journals and geological specimens feature in the exhibition), developed the theory of deep time that is reflected in many of the artists’ works.
The Recent presents an experience of life on this planet that is aged and complex, where the impact of our choices resonates beyond the short-termism that calcifies our ability to take responsibility. Through the visions, provocations, research and poetics of artists, it connects the emotional anxiety of the present with the need to stretch the human imagination into a deeper timeframe, to embrace long-termism, and radically shift our perceptions and priorities.
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh
28 October 2023 – 17 February 2024