For a Completely Different Climate

A 3-channel slide installation by Oliver Ressler


“For a Completely Different Climate” deals with an emerging social movement that questions and selectively fights the response (or non-response) of states and corporations to climate change. This leftist movement has the potential to mobilize especially in the UK, where in August 2008 a Climate Camp was organized to close the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station east of London. Although the Kingsnorth station will be shut down, the energy corporation E.ON plans to build, at the same location, a new coal-fired power station that will assure profits for the next few decades. This project completely conflicts with the necessary goal of reducing CO2 emissions. Preventing a new coal-fired power plant in Kingsnorth is of great symbolic value, since a successful resistance could mean the end of other planned projects for coal-fired power plants elsewhere in Britain.

“For a Completely Different Climate”. Installation view: “For A Completely Different Climate” (solo show), Galleria Artra, Milan, 2008
“For a Completely Different Climate”. Installation view: “For A Completely Different Climate” (solo show), Galleria Artra, Milan, 2008

The center of “For a Completely Different Climate” is a 3-channel slide installation, based on 96 photos taken in the Climate Camp and at the demonstrations and blockades of Kingsnorth. These photos are combined with short texts and audio recordings of the demonstrations and workshops. In a presentation lasting 16 minutes, three connected projections are shown on a several meter-long wall.

“For a Completely Different Climate”
LED light box, 80 x 80 cm, 2008

The installation can be extended through three light boxes combining photos with police search protocols and information sheets that identify state repression.

“For A Completely Different Climate”
LED light box, 110 x 80 cm, 2008

Ever since Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006), that is based on his slide shows, the debate about global warming has been part of the mainstream. Gore believes that trading emissions rights and using clean and efficient technologies can prevent global warming. However, “For a Completely Different Climate” uses the medium of a slide show to focus, above all, on resistance to the existing system and provides space for people who in contradiction to Gore believe that market-compatible approaches such as emissions trading is not about the protection of the climate, but instead only about ensuring continued capitalist growth. As noted in the installation’s audio recordings, CO2 emissions continue to rise years after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol. Climate change could therefore only be confronted through a radical transformation of society that would effectively challenge the existing distribution of wealth and power-relationships that are guaranteed by the military.

Due to the successful protests, the station of Kingsnorth finally closed on 17 December 2012 in the framework of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) and the demolition commenced on October 2014.

“For a Completely Different Climate”, 3-channel slide installation, 2008

Concept, photos, audio-recording, editing and production: Oliver Ressler
Editing assistant: David Grohe
Special thanks to: Climate Camp Kingsnorth, Tadzio Mueller, Marco Scotini, Marcella Stefanoni
Supported by Galleria Artra

“For a Completely Different Climate”: Short documentation from “We will beg for nothing, we will ask for nothing. We will take, we will occupy” (solo show), Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – CAAC, Seville, 2015