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Summit Art: "Sustaining the unsustainable" at the UN climate conferences


29 November 2023

Cotonificio, auditorium

h 5 p.m.


conference by Linn Burchert Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Germany Project: “Climate Summit Art. Art and Political Event, 1972 – 2022”

project funded by the German Research Council


organised by Dipartimento di Culture del progetto, Scuola di dottorato


curated by Jacopo Galimberti


poster >>





Focussing on COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (2022), my presentation examines the role of art at climate conferences (COPs) from a visual art, historical and ethnographic perspective. In particular, I will explore whether the ineffective current model of climate governance (and capitalism more generally) is somewhat “re-enchanted” and legitimised through art, and whether the arts offer any critique of, or alternatives to, what has been defined by Ingolfur Blühdorn as a “post-ecological” constitution – a condition that does not allow for overall systemic changes in terms of power but tends to “sustain the unsustainable” through a simulative form of politics.


Linn Burchert is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Art and Visual History, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Her 2019 dissertation, “The Image as Living Space: Ecological Concepts in Abstract Modern Art, 1910-1960”, and investigated ecological and therapeutic concepts in terms of the psychological and corporeal efficacy of abstract modern painting. Linn Burchert’s most recent project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and examines the role that has been played by art within the framework of international climate summits since 1972. Her monograph is provisionally titled “Climate Summit Art: Art and Political Events, 1972–2022”.