Iwan Bala reflects on the theme of the 2015 Venice Biennale ‘All the World’s Futures’, asking whether the show really responds to emerging global urgencies, and the threat not just to the city but to humanity itself from climate change.

‘When art, as Peter Halley puts it, “has been reconstituted according to the processes of bourgeois consciousness”, the thing that everybody really talks about is how to get a show. This is the shadowy juncture where aesthetics melds with economics as the main metaphor for a single value system in which the artist, without any other social role to play, seeks to gain the attention of collectors, curators and critics. A crisis of purpose is at stake here, and as Baudrillard succinctly puts it, “the boil is growing out of control”.’

As an artist, writer and lecturer, I have focused my attention for decades on concerns about the threat to the minority culture to which I belong. It now has to be recognised, that the threat to the language, community and culture of Wales is not only due to political, social and cultural developments but to environmental and ecological pressures too. We are at a time of great threat to all cultures and to humanity itself.

Sign in to read more
Subscribe here