CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium and Jizaino present

Deus Ex Terra
Visions beyond the deception of wealth

Group exhibition

► Introductory text
► Exhibited artworks and photo gallery
► Excerpts of the video artworks
► Catalogue
► Directions

Deus Ex Terra
12 - 29 December 2019
CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium
Corso Buenos Aires 42 11
Lavagna, Italy

Download the invitation card

Carlos A. Bracho • Christine Chin • ebeck • Marcela Jardón • Michel Leclercq • Abramo ‘Tepes’ Montini

Ana Baer & Heike Salzer • Orsolya Bálint • Susana Barbará • Piers Broadfoot • Camille Crampsey • Mirjam Dahl Pedersen • Paulo Fajardo • Francisco García • Finn Harvor • Dee Hood • Simone Hooymans • Yuan Kong • Boris Marinin • Juliette McCawley • D.K. Odessa & Tara Mullins • Ruchita • José Paulo Santos • Terry Silvester • René Smaal • Igal Stulbach • Kat Vivaldi

Introductory text

Deus Ex Terra

«You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you.»

Vandana Shiva

Visions beyond the deception of wealth

The human species successfully existed for millions years in harmony with nature, never destroying the environment as it is doing since just barely more than one century: ancient civilisations did understood the universe even not launching rockets to the Moon, breaking the atom, bending life or bleed dry the depths of the earth. The potentiality of imagination is sufficient to satisfy the urge to understand, because all that satiates the mind is already in ourselves and all that fulfils the body is already in the nature.

In one of our previous exhibitions entitled OIKOS, that was held exactly five years ago in Genoa, Italy, we summoned several motivated artists to unite with the current yell condemning the destruction of the natural environment. The exhibition was hinged on several aspects, first and foremost the many forms of pollution, that are endangering the planet and its inhabitants, including the human species.

Today it is time to not just denounce, as it is necessary to propose existential models that we all can adopt individually.

Sure enough still people talk about finding solutions to the many disasters, locally or globally. Who hits the squares with a cry for a change, addresses it to powerful people, invoking top politics. But rulers will never change the system from which they depend and prosper, even if they will seem to be listening and outraged, even if they will promise to take action. Sadly, the human world is moved by colossal economic profits and the tycoons of commodities, of the industry, of energy and military powers have no interest in let crumble their empire, from where they feed and instruct the antics of politics.

The change must happen from the bottom up, from the single individuals, all the people must follow their own intellectual and spiritual change, in their own big and little choices. One must never settle for compromises, we must be intransigent, nail down irremovable props, our everyday choices determine the market and it can subvert the economic world. These choices must not be determined or imposed, in no way, by the ones who want to reduce the people to the consumerist pragmatism, that is pushing consumption and services induced with propaganda and advertisement. It is necessary to make choices that are hard with oneself, renouncing to the lures of the ideology of comfort and pleasure. The renounces disinfest from that swirl of obsessions the mind of those who were trapped in the imposed system and like a drug addict firstly they suffer the withdrawal, but with time restart to encompass and to fill the void with an unexpected rediscovered wellness.

The propaganda says “Be Different”… by flaunting a consumer product, a status symbol; but being different, a misfit, in a world made of controlled people, should mean instead to be considered a maladaptive guy. But the true maladaptive is the one who is disconnected from nature, the credulous victims of the expedient, of the deception, of the deus ex machina.

The proverbial deus ex machina, that inspired the exhibition’s title, the scenic expedient to deceive the audience with an apparent marvel, was also a trick used by some mediums of ancient times to get reputation and money. It is an artifice, a technology, just how the technological innovation has been used by mankind until today: a discovery that momentarily seems to be productive, but with time it turns out to be a disaster and overwhelms us, like petroleum, plastic, nuclear energy, geoengineering and so on.

But, how do we expect answers on the environmental issue from the artists indeed? From those who just have adopted technology as their own raison d’etre? Obviously in every epoch we can start or restart from where we find ourselves, with what we have or what is left, often from the rubbles, sometimes from the heaps of waste as it is happening with Recycle Art. And, in an epoch where the society is completely indoctrinated to the normalisation of the mess, we must restart firstly from the ideas, the concepts, bringing examples, lifestyles and ways of thinking.

The artists, even not presenting specifically ecological concepts, very often they expose the deus ex machina, and they do that using the machine itself, that is the artifice, which is thus art or technology, and using the current language understood by the community: they are depositaries of the naturalist sentiment of the human being and his spirit, although often people do not recognise them so. These artists live in a paradoxical dimension: they use a trick to reveal the trick. They are like illusionists: everybody knows that they make use of tricks, thus their action in itself is the cognition of a deception, that is the deus ex machina.

All critiques on the catalogue.

Exhibited artworks and photo gallery

Excerpts of the video artworks

Video summary of all the time-based artworks


Click here to ask for the catalogue on paper.

Catalogue of Deus Ex Terra - Visions beyond the deception of wealth, Italian | English, 92 pages A4 (21 × 29.7 cm)


The CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium exhibition room is located in the centre of Lavagna, in the midst of Riviera Ligure di Levante, northern Italy. The location is well serviced, a few steps from bus and railway stations, the touristic jetty, free 2h parking and near the highway exit. Access for impaired people and lift.

By foot, by train or bus: exiting the train station of Lavagna by the city side, go to the left going along the main street until the Poste Italiane post office, here turn right toward Via Cristoforo Colombo street, as soon as you arrive at the roundabout of Piazza Cordeviola square turn left in Corso Buenos Aires boulevard. The building n. 42 is at the start of the boulevard.
Bus stop "Lavagna - Cordeviola/Edicola" linee 4, 5, 31, 32, 34, 46 and 98.

By boat: on the maritime line fares Portofino / Lavagna / Cinque Terre disembark at the touristic harbour of Lavagna. Exiting the harbour, turn left in Via dei Devoto street and go beyond the railway by the underpass that takes you to the Poste Italiane post office, then follow the directions above.

By car: toll road A12 E80 Genova-Livorno, exit at Lavagna, go toward the town centre. At the roundabout of Piazza Cordeviola turn right in Corso Buenos Aires and stop at the start of the boulevard, number 42 .

By airplane: the nearest airport is the Cristoforo Colombo of Genoa, the shuttle bus VOLABUS will take you to the train station of Genova Brignole, from there you can reach Lavagna in 40-60 minutes.