One Earth · One Family · One FutureBy: ArtBank / 07 September 2023
This summer, the Art Bank was approached by Canadian Heritage to select a work of art from the Art Bank collection that tied to the theme of India’s G20 Presidency: ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or “One Earth · One Family · One Future” for a two-month-long multidisciplinary art exhibition being presented in association with the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
The Art Bank team proposed Letters to the Future – Antarctica, 3019 (2020) by Jessica Houston, a photograph acquired through the 50th anniversary purchase program.
The G20 Art Project: Together We Art explores cultural sustainability, ecology and environment, and migration and identity politics. The exhibition features works of art in a wide range of mediums by artists representing each of the G20 countries. It will be on display in the Bihar Museum in Patna, India, from August 7 to 27 and at the National Museum in New Delhi, India, from September 7 to October 7.
Letters to the Future – Antarctica, 3019 (2020) will be presented as a digital reproduction on a large screen in each museum and will be included in a commemorative publication.
Letters to the Future – Antarctica, 3019 (2020) by Jessica Houston
About the artwork
Letters to the Future is a 1,000-year collaboration with ice and with people across disciplines, including post-humanist philosopher Rosi Braidotti, Inuk leader Okalik Eegeesiak, composer Arvo Pärt and physicist Carlo Rovelli.
Artist Jessica Houston has called upon a variety of voices across disciplines to write a handwritten letter to the future. The contributors’ letters were placed in a time capsule that was buried in the Queen Maud Land ice sheet by scientist Alain Hubert, chief operator at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Station. It is anticipated that the time capsule will emerge in roughly 1,000 years, after being carried by the ice to the sea. Except for the authors themselves, no one from the present has seen the letters.
The substances of the planet are vital materials of this artwork, which asks us to imagine our time and our place in the history of the Earth with renewed sensitivity.
Jessica Houston. Photo: Bruno Tremblay
About the artist
Jessica Houston journeys from pole to pole, employing oral narratives, photography, objects, painting, and video as her mediums. Her focus lies on climate change and social justice issues, particularly emphasizing the deep time of ice and collaboration with nature. Through her research-based practice, Houston engages with poets, penguins, scientists, and philosophers to uncover and illuminate the geographies of resistance in the Canadian Arctic, Antarctica and Iceland. Select solo and group exhibitions include 1,000 Years, at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA (2024); Territoires sous observation, at the Museo de Arte de Querétaro, in Mexico City, Mexico (2023); Terra Nova, at the CREA Gallery, in Venice, Italy (2022); Ecologies: A Song For Our Planet, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in Montréal, Canada (2021); Dear Future…, at the University of Northern Colorado Gallery, in Greely, Colorado, USA (2020); I Beseech You: Women, Art, Politics and Power, at the Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA (catalog) (2020); and The Call of Things, at the The Arktikum Museum, University of Lapland, in Rovaniemi, Finland (2019).