Fernando García-Dory (b.1979, Madrid) deals specifically with the relationship between culture and nature today, as it is manifested in multiple contexts. These include the relationship between landscape and the rural, to desires and expectations concerned with identity, through to (global) crisis, utopia and the potential for social change. Interested in the harmonic complexity of biological forms and processes, his work addresses connections from microorganisms to social systems, and produces diverse outcomes, from drawing to collaborative agro-ecological projects, actions, and cooperatives.
Garcia-Dory’s major INLAND project is about an organisation that examines the role of territories, geopolitics, culture and identity in the relationship between the city and the countryside today. It´s aim is to introduce the possibility of contemporary art practice in relation to the rural, and how that context might modify the way art happens and circulates.
The project focuses on the economics of art and land, organised utopia, and the ways we interact with the biosphere. INLAND is envisioned as a para-institution of “polyvalent specialist mobile units working in emergency contexts” that always operates “in relation to an ‘official’ institution, that is, a state, a company, or an art institution.” This provides an entry point to think about the "growth of social formations, from a social movement to a state to a multinational chain."
It started launching a cultural strategy over a period of three years (2010-2013) taking Spain as a first case study, which included an international conference at Reina Sofia Museum, training workshops for artists to engage with the rural, and an arts production stage in which 22 artists were commissioned to work in the same number of villages. It was followed by exhibitions and an public fora that ignited an open debate about the place of rural spaces and art in society. Study groups and a publishing house have been also created by INLAND.
In this current phase, INLAND is extending its methodology to other European contexts, such as the countryside in Italy, Finland, United Kingdom and especially the Netherlands. It is advising the European Rural Development Network of the European Commission on the potential of art in rural development processes and at the same time it builds up a European Shepherds Network. It also works at the micro-scale, recovering an abandoned village to become the organization’s headquarters and community-of-practice.
In summary, appearing in different forms in different countries, while Garcia-Dory is dissolving his individual agency in the now forming collective, INLAND Europa publishes books, make shows or cheese, advises governments on policy making or revitalises villages in undisclosed locations. García-Dory calls it “learning to do together with others here at earth. By doing.”