ponds among ponds: an exhibition of threshold behavior & nested life

— curated by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) at ICA Shanghai, 25 March to 29 May 2021

 
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)
at New York University Shanghai
25 March – 29 May 2021
 
With

  • Agency
  • Anne Duk Hee Jordan
    with Pauline Doutreluingne
  • John Feldman
    with Lynn Margulis
  • Mao Chenyu
  • Maximilian Prüfer
  • Monika Lin
    with Zaanheh Project

 

In a recent essay addressing the intersectional frictions of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis, and recent microbiome research, the philosopher Tobias Rees remarked, “We humans are really little more than a multi-species ecosystem among multi-species ecosystems—ponds among ponds.” Borrowing this as an umbrella term for rethinking the relationship between organisms and their various endo- and exo-somatic ecologies, ponds among ponds: an exhibition of threshold behavior & nested life proposes an alternative approach to the presentation of natural history. Instead of beginning from the assumption that the organism is the basic unit of evolution, what if we consider the multi-scalar, nested ecologies of life as symbiotic sequences that challenge ideas of competition and survival of the fittest? The fundamental proposition of ponds among ponds is that the current concept of organismic life is insufficient for thinking with and adapting to contemporary climate and biodiversity crises.

 

Thinking with the pathbreaking work of evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis (1938–2011), ponds among ponds presents objects, images, texts, performances, and movements through artistic points of view, troubling current forms and proposing other organizations of life. The concept of “threshold behavior” contends that all organisms are ecologies unto themselves that operate as assemblages ordered and kept alive by various environmental gradients. While “nested life” challenges the predominant image of climate change as an eventuality wherein an organism (typically, a human organism), as a unit of coherent and sovereign volition, struggles against the outside forces of nature. Such an impoverished sense of threshold behavior leads to a repetition without difference. Instead, in order to begin to conceive of, and thereby adapt to, the massive challenges of climate change (and the no less imperiling situation of biodiversity destruction), it is necessary to imagine the human, and the organism, as ecologies within ecologies, or ponds among ponds.

 

Central to the exhibition, in its performance-installation, Brussels-based Agency calls forth gatherings and discussion around controversial intellectual property cases, raising questions such as: are living things patentable subject matter? A video by Maximilian Prüfer explores the consequences of environmental destruction upon the pollination process within agriculture, while Berlin-based artist Anne Duk Hee Jordan, in her collaboration with Pauline Doutreluingne, has developed a multimedia wedding bed-installation, opening a nonlinear perspective on species migration and the botany of desire. Shanghai and Yueyang-based artist Mao Chenyu’s further invokes the figure of the agricultural worker and space-time of Chinese rural society in two films, one of which will premiere at the close of the exhibition. Extending the exhibition out into the city, walking maps designed by Zaanheh Project’s Monika Lin invite visitors to key areas around Shanghai to think with the emergent ecologies of the local watershed. Finally, Reassembling the Natural the exhibition, conceptually and materially, with traces of Lynn Margulis and her collaborators: A curatorial station entitled “Reassembling Symbiosis” includes a documentary film directed by John Feldman exploring her life and ideas (accessible online throughout the duration of the exhibition); the gallery is also lined with curtains (entitled “Reassembling the Outside”), designed by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin in collaboration with Wolfgang Hückel and produced by the ICA team, which prompt visitors to imagine the gallery as a symbiont with the city of Shanghai, imagining the curtain as a permeable membrane between inside and outside, art and nature.

 

For ponds among ponds, exhibition curators Springer and Turpin (Reassembling the Natural) have worked with the ICA at NYU Shanghai to engage with local collections, museums, and related sites of scientific research, as well as artists and cultural producers. By bringing these respective objects of research together in one exhibition space, their project continues to work across disciplines and develop new modes of spatial juxtaposition and curatorial montage that enable scientific and aesthetic practices of inquiry to inform one another.

 

ponds among ponds: an exhibition of threshold behavior & nested life and its related events are presented as the final season of The (Invisible) Garden, the ICA’s 2019–21 artistic research program that inquires into the garden as a method that shapes our understanding of Nature and our relationships to other species. From Fall 2019 through Spring 2021, the ICA at NYU Shanghai presents artists, thinkers, and practitioners, through exhibitions and events, to consider the garden and ask how might we denature Nature?

 

The exhibition was curated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin (Reassembling the Natural), and was organized by ICA director & curator Michelle Yeonho Hyun with Zhu Sicong, who were assisted by Chen Yijiao, Wang Yuxin, Chen Yindi, and Qin Xiaoyan.

 

 

Documents & Resources

 

 

 

Related Events in the Gallery & Online

 

ponds among ponds: an exhibition of threshold behavior & nested life is accompanied by related events, including:

 

VIRTUAL SCREENING: Symbiotic Earth

 

20 March –29 May
Online

 

The documentary film Symbiotic Earth (dir. John Feldman, 2018) explores the life and ideas of evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, whose unconventional theories challenged the male-dominated scientific community and are today fundamentally changing how we look at ourselves, evolution, and the environment.

 

The film is available for screening online one week prior to and throughout the exhibition period. English with Chinese subtitles.

 

TALK: Roundtable with curators, artists, & scientists

 

Sat, 27 Mar, 16:00–17:30 CST
Online Chinese and English

 

Join the curators and artists in conversation with scientists from NYU Shanghai, DONG Ningning (Fudan University), Sascha Krause (East China Normal University), PAN Yan (Fudan University), and ZHANG Minhua (East China Normal University), as they discuss the exhibition ponds among ponds and film Symbiotic Earth. The lm is available for screening online one week prior to the roundtable discussion, starting on 20 March.

 

PERFORMANCE: Agency

 

Agency is an international initiative founded by Kobe Matthys that has o ces in Brussels. Since 1992, Agency constitutes a growing “list of boundary things” mostly derived from judicial cases and controversies involving intellectual property. Agency calls these boundary things forth via varying “assemblies” such as exhibitions, performances, and publications. For Assembly (ponds among ponds), Agency calls an assembly where a group of concerned from various back- grounds related to the case will be invited to respond to the controversy it raises. This assembly is not meant to re-enact the judgment, but rather to evoke the hesitation experienced in court.

 

Assembly (ponds among ponds)
Sat, 17 Apr, 16:00–18:00 CST
Online (link coming soon)
English with Chinese interpretation

 

Agency calls forth from its list Thing 000773 (Pseudomonas). For thousands of years cow dung slurry has been used in India in rituals to clean houses. In 1971, microbiologist Ananda Chakrabarty grew bacteria (of the pseudomonas family) by genetic transfer, which he hoped would be used to clean oil spills, and in 1972, he filed for a patent application. The case eventually appeared before the highest court in the US, raising the question: are “living things” patentable subject matter?

 

Assembly (ponds among ponds)
Sat, 15 May, 16:00–18:00 CST Gallery (limited seating)
Chinese with English interpretation

 

Agency calls forth an assembly for a newly researched case, which has been developed specifically for ponds among ponds at the ICA at NYU Shanghai. Please register by 7 May to reserve a seat.

 

SCREENING & TALK: Anti-Rural China

 

22–29 May (virtual screening; link coming soon)
Sat, 29 May, 15:00 CST (in-person screening in the Gallery; limited seating; Chinese with English subtitles Sat, 29 May, 16:00–17:00 CST (conversation; online & ICA GAllery; Chinese with English interpretation)

 

Watch the premiere of Mao Chenyu’s newest film, Anti-Rural China (2021), followed by a conversation with the filmmaker, curators, and theoretician Lu Xinghua. In response to Fei Xiaotong’s once banned and now widely-read study of Chinese rural society, From the Soil (1947), Mao questions From the Soil’s legacy, asking how to think about the rural reality of China today and open up thinking for the future?

 

Anti-Rural China is available for screening online one week prior to the conversation. Online viewers are welcome to join the 29 May conversation via live stream.The film will also be screened in person, in the ICA gallery, followed immediately by a conversation with the filmmaker. Please register by 21 May to reserve a seat.

 

As with every season, the ICA will host Study Sessions on 8 April and 29 April at 13:00 in the ICA gallery. ICA Study Sessions are guided conversations focusing on one work in one hour, based on curious exploration, critical reflection, and collective meaning making.

 

Registration is required for all events.

 

 

Exhibition Colophon

 

Participanting Artists

 

  • Agency
  • Anne Duk Hee Jordan
    with Pauline Doutreluingne
  • John Feldman
    with Lynn Margulis
  • Mao Chenyu
  • Maximilian Prüfer
  • Monika Lin
    with Zaanheh Project

 

Scientific Interlocutors

 

  • Dong Ningning (Fudan University)
  • Sascha Krause (East China Normal University)
  • Pan Yan (Fudan University)
  • WANG Zhenghuan (East China Normal University)
  • Zhang Minhua (East China Normal University)

 

Curators, Team & Collaborators

 

ponds among ponds was curated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin, and was organized by Michelle Yeonho Hyun with Zhu Sicong, who were assisted by Chen Yijiao, Wang Yuxin, Chen Yindi, and Qin Xiaoyan. Additional assistance by Lina Jin from NYU Shanghai Teaching Labs and He Zhuqing from the Biological History Museum of East China Normal University. Design by the curators in collaboration with Wolfgang Hückel and The Exercises / Lu Liang with Selina Landis.

 

ponds among ponds: an exhibition of threshold behaviour & nested life and its related events are presented as the final season of The (Invisible) Garden, the ICA’s 2019–21 artistic research program that inquires into the garden as a method that shapes our understanding of Nature and our relationships to other species. From Fall 2019 through Spring 2021, the ICA at NYU Shanghai presents artists, thinkers, and practitioners, through exhibitions and events, to consider the garden and ask how might we denature Nature?

 

Select artworks and projects in the exhibition have been generously supported by: in part, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Flanders Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Media; and, in kind, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

 

 

Thank You :

 

Reassembling the Natural thanks Michelle Yeonho Hyun for the generous invitation and meticulous production over long distance throughout a year and a half of pandemic chaos. We also thank the ICA team, above all Zhu Sicong, for their tireless research and production support, as well as all participating artists, scientists, and contributors, and all staff, fabricators, technicians, and translators of NYU Shanghai who helped make the exhibition happen.

 

The curators would also like to thank:

 

Lidia Gasperoni, Martin Guinard, Wolfgang Hückel, Bettina Korintenberg, and Bruno Latour

 

ponds among ponds was curated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin, and was organized by ICA director & curator Michelle Yeonho Hyun with Zhu Sicong, who were assisted by Chen Yijiao, Wang Yuxin, Chen Yindi, and Qin Xiaoyan.

 

intercalations: paginated exhibition

— a six-part series edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin

The intercalations: paginated exhibition series is an experimental foray exploring the structure of the book as a potential curatorial space. As the reader-as-exhibition-viewer moves through these books-as-exhibition, she discovers that the erratic intercalations of the Anthropocene invite new forms of literacy, visuality, inquiry, and speculation that are, in the words of Clarice Lispector, less promiscuous than they are kaleidoscopic.

 

This six-part series was developed by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin for the Berlin Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s Anthropocene Project as a commission of the HKW’s Synapse Curators’ Network. It provokes questions about the validity of seeming categorical binaries such as culture and nature, human and non-human, subject and object, book and exhibition. The first volume, Fantasies of the Library (2015), inaugurates the series by investigating the book as space, scaffold, and medium for various ecologies of thought. The second volume, Land & Animal & Nonanimal (2015), focuses on the postnatural landscapes and specimens of the Earth; Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago (2017), the third volume, examines the mobility of colonial collections and the environmental transformations they co-produced, elaborating on the world of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and his explorations of the Southeast Asian Malay archipelago in the mid-nineteenth century. Volume four, The Word for World Is Still Forest (2017), explores the forest as a set of confounding references of the Anthropocene, while the fifth volume, Decapitated Economies (2021), questions the “head” and its underestimation of the sophistication of corporeal desire when such intensities are released in accordance with the principles of a general economy. The final volume of the series, These Birds of Temptation (2021), is conceived as a refrain, populated with both acoustical lines of ight and the sorrows of captivity, in order to consider the minor science of ornithology and its various organizational logics. Together, these six volumes are published as printed matter paperback books, as well as web-based, open-access publications, leading their reader-as-exhibition viewers along a series of bifurcating trajectories where curators, artists, scientists, activists, storytellers, and writers pose urgent questions about contemporary struggles for both the cultivation, preservation, and reformation of biomes and their organisms, for land rights and territorial negotiations, and for possible new social, political, and more-than-human life forms.

 

intercalations: paginated exhibition series. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin; design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer.

Fantasies of the Library

Land & Animal & Nonanimal

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

The Word for World is Still Forest

Decapitated Economies

These Birds of Temptation

 

The intercalations: a paginated exhibition series is published in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt; it is made possible by Schering Stiftung

These Birds of Temptation

— intercalations 6, edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, Summer 2021

intercalations 6 … is a queer refrain, populated with both acoustical lines of flight and the sorrows of captivity, wherein the reader-as-exhibition-viewer learns that the adventure of ornithology is as preoccupied with the evolutionary meaning of allopreening among avifauna as it is with their taxonomical domination. ── With contributions creating a kaleidoscopic murmuration of minor ornithologies, including contributions on feathers, flight, song, loss, escape, and evasion, as well as a series of object lessons, poetic reflections, short stories, visual essays, and theoretical reflections on birds from Aristotle to Anaïs Nin, among many others.

 

These Birds of Temptation. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. With contributions by Bik Van der Pol, Bertolt Brecht, Wallace Craig, Andreas Döpke & Barbara Marcel, Anaïs Nin, John Paul Ricco, David Rothenberg, Bruno Schulz, Anna-Sophie Springer, Francesca Woodman, and many others. Design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer.

 

English
13 x 21 cm
370 pages
Color & black/white images
Softcover, thread-bound
ISBN 978-3-9818635-4-3

 

Launched by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin in Summer 2021

Decapitated Economies

— intercalations 5, edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, Summer 2021

intercalation 5 … is a book of provocations wherein the reader-as-exhibition-viewer learns that the “head,” despite its interminable rule over the body, necessarily underestimates the sophistication of corporeal desire when such desire is unleashed in accord with the principles of a general economy. ── With contributions addressing a wide spectrum of headlessness and its many operational forms, from the invention of the guillotine to the maintenance of the museum repository, from annual shareholder reports to Indigenous sovereignty struggles, and from neuroscientific advancements to brain surgery narratives, as well as the housing crisis, ocean pollution, settlement and cerealization, wheat banks, political murder, human extinction, and much more.

 

Decapitated Economies. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. With contributions by D.T. Cochrane, Amanda DeLisio and Jason S. Cipparone, Armin Linke, MAP Office, Jeff Monaghan, Skye Moret, Joel Tauber, Etienne Turpin, and many others. Design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer.

 

English
13 x 21 cm
370 pages
Color & black/white images
Softcover, thread-bound
ISBN 978-3-9818635-3-6

 

Launched by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Summer 2021

silvopasture works

— a video screening program on the occasion of the I Never Read Basel Art Book Fair 2020

Convening artists from all over the world, this screening is inspired by the practice of silvopasture. Silvopasture is an integrated, holistic approach to agriculture and forestry that allows all types of organisms involved to benefit in mutual ways, forming a balance that supports and co-nourishes each participant across various scales. A tradition of living-with familiar to Indigenous communities on all continents, silvopasture is an act of resistance and sustenance that understands planetary life as compositional and collective.

 

As a complementary approach, silvoculture resonates with independent publishing as a dynamic and collaborative practice nurtured by reciprocity, multiplication, and (re-)distribution; gathering and cultivating ecologies of careful attention, knowing, and sensing on varying scales, from the smallness of a single letter, word, or image to bigger assemblages like the book, a visual sequence, a print-run, a group of positions and voices, a shelf, a book fair, or the world.

 

In this spirit, the pieces shared by comrades in silvopasture works address survival and disappearance from many different vantage points, some using a more documentary approach, while others offer more poetic interventions. Together, the works in print, video, and photography suggest repertoires of interdependence in both love and struggle.

 

Featuring work by:

 

Elisa Balmaceda
Rosa Barba
Priyanka Basu & Steve Rowell
Carolina Borrero Arias
Dora García
Ana Hupe
Geraldine Juárez
Armin Linke
Hanna Mattes
Martina Pozzan
Ela Spalding
Joel Tauber
Raul Walch
Tania Willard

 

Thanks to all participants for the wonderful collaboration and to Eveline Wüthrich for the beautiful opportunity.

 

DETAILED PROGRAM (PDF)

 

 

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald - Part 3/3 (Halle)

— curated by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) at the Natural History Collections, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle/Wittenberg, 20 October to 14 December 2018

Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest
opens on 19 October, 19h00
Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle/Wittenberg
Domplatz 4
D-06108 Halle/Saale

With:
Maria Thereza Alves, Ari Bayuaji, Ursula Biemann, Bik Van der Pol, Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Mark Dion, Radjawali Irendra/Akademi Drone Indonesia, Armin Linke mit Giulia Bruno und Giuseppe Ielasi, Barbara Marcel, Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu, PetaBencana.id, SHIMURAbros, Paulo Tavares/autonoma, and Robert Zhao Renhui/The Institute of Critical Zoologists

Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest confronts traditional images of nature in the context of species mass extinction, deforestation, and climate change.

Drawing connections from Alfred Russel Wallace’s mid-nineteenth century expeditions to Amazonia and the Malay Archipelago to current issues of environmental transformation, the exhibition presents 14 works of contemporary art alongside rare botanical and zoological specimens. Together, inherited notions of nature are challenged to critically inquire into the legacies resulting from the relentless destruction of highly complex ecosystems. Installations, photographs, films, and sculptures reflect on biodiversity suspended between science and monoculture.

Some of the artworks were developed through journeys to Brazil and Indonesia; others address the role of specimens and museum collections. Spending time on Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke—together with his colleague Giulia Bruno and exhibition curators Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin—conducted numerous interviews with local residents, plantation workers, small land holders, environmentalists, government officials, and scientists. The result is a cinematic document that reflects the speed with which Indonesia is currently transforming into a palm-oil nation amid giant peat fires. With her 19-channel video installation To See the Forest Standing, Maria Thereza Alves invites us to listen to the 34 Indigenous clan chiefs, whom she accompanied for one month last summer in Brazil while participating in a workshop on Indigenous agroforestry and resource conservation. Meanwhile, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen look inward and examine taxidermy birds-of-paradise with piercing X-ray vision, while the automated multimedia installation Extinction Gong by Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vũ translates the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species into an eerie and percussive rhythm in real-time. A highlight of this iteration of the exhibition is a selection of rare bird specimens from Indonesia collected by Alfred Russel Wallace that were recently discovered in the collection of the bird museum Museum Heineanum in Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt.

One-hundred and sixty years after Wallace deciphered the principle of species evolution during his journeys, Disappearing Legacies asks whether the living legacy of evolution and biodiversity—forests and the infinity of worlds they sustain—will disappear amidst the mass extinction of species current taking place on this planet.

Participating artists:
Maria Thereza Alves, Ari Bayuaji, Ursula Biemann, Bik Van der Pol, Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Mark Dion, Radjawali Irendra/Akademi Drone Indonesia, Armin Linke mit Giulia Bruno und Giuseppe Ielasi, Barbara Marcel, Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu, PetaBencana.id, SHIMURAbros, Paulo Tavares/autonoma, Robert Zhao Renhui/The Institute of Critical Zoologists

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald
[ Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest ]
20 October – 14 December 2018
Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle/Wittenberg
Domplatz 4
D-06108 Halle/Saale

Contact:
+49(0)345 55-21437
koordination@zns.uni-halle.de
naturkundemuseum.uni-halle.de

Opening hours:
Wed to Sat 14h00–18h00
Mon, Tue, Sun, and public holidays closed

Entry is free

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald is a three-part project by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. The travelling exhibition is realized by Centrum für Naturkunde at the University of Hamburg, where it was on view in the Fall of 2017. In 2018, adapted iterations are presented from 27 April to 26 August 2018 at the project partner, Tieranatomische Theater at Humboldt University in Berlin, and from 20 October until 14 December 2018 at the Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen of the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Halle/Saale. The exhibition cycle is a cooperation with the Schering Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut Singapore, with additional support through Pro Helvetia and the Graham Foundation. The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.







Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald - Part 2/3 (Berlin)

— curated by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) at Tieranatomisches Theater, Humboldt-University Berlin, 27 April to 25 August 2018

Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest
Opening: 26 April, 19h00

Tieranatomisches Theater (TA T)
Raum für forschende Ausstellungspraxis
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Philippstraße 12/13
D-10115 Berlin

 

With:
Maria Thereza Alves, Ari Bayuaji, Bik Van der Pol, Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Mark Dion, Radjawali Irendra/Akademi Drone Indonesia, Armin Linke mit Giulia Bruno und Giuseppe Ielasi, Barbara Marcel, Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu, PetaBencana.id, SHIMURAbros, Paulo Tavares/autonoma, and Robert Zhao Renhui/The Institute of Critical Zoologists

 

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest] transforms the Tieranatomisches Theater into an endangered habitat: the forest. The exhibition confronts traditional images of nature in the context of species mass extinction, deforestation, and climate change.

 

Drawing connections from Alfred Russel Wallace’s mid-nineteenth century expeditions to Amazonia and the Malay Archipelago to current issues of environmental transformation, the exhibition presents 14 works of contemporary art alongside rare botanical and zoological specimens. Together, inherited notions of nature are challenged to critically inquire into the legacies resulting from the relentless destruction of highly complex ecosystems. Installations, photographs, films, and sculptures reflect on biodiversity suspended between science and monoculture.

 

Some of the artworks were developed through journeys to Brazil and Indonesia; others address the role of specimens and museum collections. Spending time on Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke—together with his colleague Giulia Bruno and exhibition curators Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin—conducted numerous interviews with local residents, plantation workers, small land holders, environmentalists, government officials, and scientists. The result is a cinematic document that reflects the speed with which Indonesia is currently transforming into a palm-oil nation amid giant peat fires. With her 19-channel video installation To See the Forest Standing, Maria Thereza Alves invites us to listen to the 34 Indigenous clan chiefs, whom she accompanied for one month last summer in Brazil while participating in a workshop on Indigenous agroforestry and resource conservation. Meanwhile, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen look inward and examine taxidermy birds-of-paradise with piercing X-ray vision, while the automated multimedia installation Extinction Gong by Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vũ translates the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species into an eerie and percussive rhythm in real-time. Another highlight of the exhibition is the 3D digital rendering of a Sumatran rhino skull, an exhibit that emphasizes the tension between scientific knowledge production and de-naturalization. As a CT scan, the skull provides scientists with new data while at the same time drawing public attention to the plight of this highly endangered animal.

 

One-hundred and sixty years after Wallace deciphered the principle of species evolution during his journeys, Disappearing Legacies asks whether the living legacy of evolution and biodiversity—forests and the infinity of worlds they sustain—will disappear amidst the mass extinction of species current taking place on this planet.

 

Participating artists:
Maria Thereza Alves, Ari Bayuaji, Bik Van der Pol, Shannon Lee Castleman/Migrant Ecologies, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Mark Dion, Radjawali Irendra/Akademi Drone Indonesia, Armin Linke mit Giulia Bruno und Giuseppe Ielasi, Barbara Marcel, Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vu, PetaBencana.id, SHIMURAbros, Paulo Tavares/autonoma, Robert Zhao Renhui/The Institute of Critical Zoologists

 

The exhibition will be accompanied the discursive program HOW ON EARTH? comprising of lectures, discussions, screenings, and guided tours.

 

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald
[ Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest ]
27 April – 26 August 2018
Tieranatomisches Theater (TA T)
Raum für forschende Ausstellungspraxis
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Philippstraße 12/13
D-10115 Berlin

 

Opening hours:
Tue to Sat 14h00–18h00
Mon, Sun, and public holidays closed

Entry is free.

 

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald is a three-part project by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. The travelling exhibition is realized by Centrum für Naturkunde at the University of Hamburg, where it was on view in the Fall of 2017. In 2018, adapted iterations are presented from 27 April to 26 August 2018 at the project partner, Tieranatomische Theater at Humboldt University in Berlin, and from 19 October until 14 December 2018 at the Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen of the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Halle/Saale. The exhibition cycle is a cooperation with the Schering Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut. The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

HOW ON EARTH?

— The discursive program accompanying Reassembling the Natural's exhibition Disappearing Legacies at Tieranatomisches Theater (28.04.–25.08.2018)

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald
27. April – 25. August 2018
Tieranatomisches Theater (TA T)
Raum für forschende Ausstellungspraxis
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Philippstraße 12/13
10115 Berlin
 
Many inherited images of nature are no longer adequate given the realities of mass extinction, anthropogenic climate change, and deforestation. Have current forms of land use transformation, ecological disturbance, and species extermination produced a troubled new natural history? The discursive program How on Earth? addresses this and other urgent questions about nature, colonialism, and care in the Anthropocene through a series of lectures, discussions, screenings, and guided tours.
 
28/04   inhabiting nature
15–16h00 Curators’ tours [de/en]
16–19h00 Artists’ talks by Barbara Marcel, Crystelle Vũ, and others; followed by lectures by Shannon Mattern (New School) and Birgit Schneider (Potsdam University) [en]
>>>> detailed program here
 

09/06   imaging & imagining nature
During the Long Night of Science:
19h00 Curators’ tours [de/en] and artist’s talk by Maria Thereza Alves [en]
23h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
>>>> detailed program here
 

26/06   consuming a planet
20h00 Lectures by researcher Seth Denizen, Max Haiven (Lakehead University), and Shela Sheikh (Goldsmiths) [en]; followed by a screening of Europium, 2014 [en with de subtitles] and a panel discussion with the artist/director Lisa Rave [en]
>>>> detailed program here
 

03/07   becoming extinct
19h30 “Provisioning Crows: Ecologies of Hope in the Mariana Islands,” lecture by environmental philosopher Thom van Dooren (University of Sydney); followed by a screening of Point of No Return, 2015 [en with de subtitles] and a panel discussion with the artist/director Antje Engelmann [en]
>>>> detailed program here

12/08   replicating nature
10 – 19h00 Day trip excursion with Bik Van Der Pol to the artificial Vesuvio at Schloß Wörlitz and the Naumann Ornithological Collection at Museum Köthen [registration required]
>>>> detailed program here
 

24/08   from pulp and paper
19h30 Publication talks with Dubravka Sekulic, Milica Tomic (GAM, TU Graz), Leah Whitman-Salkin (Harvard Design Magazin), and others [en]
>>>> detailed program here
 

25/08   thinking with the earth
During the Long Night of the Museums [ticket required]
18h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
19h30 Lecture by Hannah Meszaros-Martin (Goldsmiths) [en]
20h15 Lecture by Kenny Cupers (Universität Basel) [en]
21h00 Screening of Thinking Like A Mountain, 2018 [de with en subtitles] followed by a Q&A with the director Alexander Hick and a closing panel with all guests and the exhibition curators [en]
 

23h00 Exhibition guided tour [de]
>>>> detailed program here
 

Entry to the exhibition and the discursive program is free.
 

For events taking place during the Long Night of Science
(9 June, 17–24h00) and the Long Night of the Museums
(25 August, 18–2h00) separate tickets for the Long Nights are required.

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald - Part 1/3 (Hamburg)

— curated by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) at the Zoological Museum, Centre for Natural History (CeNak), University of Hamburg, 10 Nov 2017 to 29 March 2018

Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest
Opening: 9 November 2017, 18h00
Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak)
Zoologisches Museum Hamburg
Bundesstrasse 52
D-20146 Hamburg

 

One-hundred and sixty years ago, Alfred Russel Wallace deciphered the principle of species evolution during research trips to South America and Southeast Asia. From 10 November 2017 to 29 March 2018, the special exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald [Disappearing Legacies: The World as a Forest] confronts the destruction of these tropical habitats in the context of the Anthropocene and mass extinction.

 

The concept of the project is unique—a hybrid between a historical thematic presentation and a major exhibition of contemporary art, transforming the Zoological Museum im Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak), University of Hamburg, into a threatened (rain)forest habitat. The centerpiece of the intervention is the presentation of 13 contemporary works of art—including eight new commissions—by Maria Thereza Alves, Ursula BiemannBik Van der Pol, Shannon Lee Castleman, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Mark Dion, Radjawali Irendra / Akademi Drone Indonesia, Armin Linke with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi, Barbara Marcel, Julian Oliver & Crystelle , Robert Zhao Renhui / The Institute of Critical Zoologists, SHIMURAbros und autonoma / Paulo Tavares.

 

Some of the works have a direct relation to the University of Hamburg’s collections. Through on-site visits, the artist Robert Zhao Renhui from Singapore, for instance, has further developed his ongoing exploration of our ambiguous relationship with insects by selecting a series of objects from CeNak’s Entomology Collection for his room-size installation. And it was a visit to the Mammalogy Collection that inspired the artist duo Bik Van der Pol to engage in a deeper examination of the phenomenon of nature as a replica situated between reality and fiction.

 

Other artistic works were developed through journeys to Brazil and Indonesia. Spending time on Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, photographer and filmmaker Armin Linke—together with his colleague Giulia Bruno and exhibition curators Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin—conducted numerous interviews with local residents, plantation workers, small land holders, environmentalists, government officials, and scientists. The result is a cinematic document that reflects the speed with which Indonesia is currently transforming into a palm-oil nation amid giant peat fires. In her museum installation, Maria Thereza Alves lends the word to 33 Indigenous clan chiefs, whom she accompanied for one month last summer in Brazil while participating in a workshop on Indigenous agroforestry and resource conservation. Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen look inward and examine taxidermy birds with piercing X-ray vision, while the automated multimedia installation Extinction Gong by Julian Oliver & Crystelle Vũ translates the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species into an eerie and percussive rhythm in realtime.

 

The exhibition is extended by a series of curatorial assemblages, which include specimens from the CeNak’s zoological collections and the botanical collections of the Herbarium Hamburgense that were selected in dialogue with the respective institutions’ scientific curators: skulls, animal skins, spirit specimens, herbarium sheets, and numerous cases of colorful pinned insects. Another special highlight is the 3D digital rendering of a Sumatran rhino skull, produced in collaboration with YXLON International, a Hamburg-based high-resolution industrial CT-scanner developer, and a special data visualization software from Volume GraphicsOther media include exclusive screenings of one of Sir David Attenborough’s earliest BBC documentaries and a selection of videos from the ornithologist Ed Scholes (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and wildlife photographer Tim Laman’s ambitious Bird-of-Paradise Project.

 

Together, the artistic positions and curatorial assemblages presented in the exhibition Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald renounce a romantic image of untouched nature, and instead critically inquire into the legacies resulting from the relentless destruction of highly complex ecosystems.

 

Alongside the exhibition, CeNak offers a variegated event program comprising of guided tours, lectures, screenings, and other evening events. Entry is free.

 

Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald is a three-part project by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. The travelling exhibition is realized by Centrum für Naturkunde, University of Hamburg, where it will be on view from 10 November 2017 until 29 March 2018. In 2018, adapted iterations will be presented at the project partners, Tieranatomische Theater (TA T), Humboldt University Berlin, and the Zentralmagazin Naturwissenschaftlicher Sammlungen, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale. The exhibition cycle is a cooperation with the Schering Stiftung and the Goethe-InstitutUrsula Biemann’s participation is supported by Pro HelvetiaThe project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

The Trees typeface used in the graphic design is an open-source project by Katie Holten (2015).

Exhibition photographed by Michael Pfisterer

The Word for World is Still Forest

— intercalations 4, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, February 2017

intercalations 4 … creates a space for the reader-as-exhibition-viewer to consider how forests may be seen not only for their trees, but also how they can enable experiences of elegance, affirmation, and creation for a multitude of creatures; in response to their violent destruction, which characterizes the Anthropocene, these pages traverse various woodlands by way of their semiotic, socio-political, historical, and epistemic incitements in order to reveal how practices of care, concern, and attention also enable humans to inhabit and flourish in this world as forest.

 

The Word for World is Still Forest is an homage to the forest as a turbulent, interconnected, multinature. It moves from concepts of the forest as a thinking organism to the linear monocultural plantations that now threaten the life of global forests. The volume opens with a series of facsimile pages from Ursula K. Le Guin’s eponymous novella The Word for World is Forest from 1972, for which the editors scanned their personal, marked-up copy for excerpts that now read like poetic, urgent pledges. In a provocative essay, the artist Pedro Neves Marques shares his understanding of the particularity of Amerindian images of naturecultures. Architectural historian and curator Dan Handel then presents an excerpted exhibition on “wood” as a vital element of forest mythology and the driver of industrial resource management. Alongside data visualizations by arborealist Kevin Beiler, Canadian forest ecologist Suzanne Simard explains how trees are connected by the “wood wide web” and describes how the Mother Trees of British Columbia distribute nutrients through an underground mycorrhizal fungi network. Media designer and data curator Yanni A. Loukissas adds a series of reflections on botanical data from Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum. In her intriguing photo series, Shannon Lee Castleman visualizes illegal logging, incremental harvesting practices, and ghostly hauntings in the diminished tropical forests of Indonesia. Nonuya elder and shaman Abel Rodríguez also shares Indigenous worldviews and spirituality by relaying an oral narrative of the Ancestral Tree of Plenty in a piece transcribed and translated in collaboration with Carlos Rodríguez and Catalina Vargas from the Tropen Bos International Colombia forest conservation group. Abel’s deep knowledge and understanding of the forest also emanates from the beautiful drawings of medicinal plants and wet and dry seasons in the Amazon. Brazilian architect and activist Paulo Tavares continues to address human rights violations and Indigenous struggle in Amazonia as he highlights the hybrid literacies required by resistance groups in defense of their land against dispossession and epistemicide. In the interview “Leaving the Forest,” anthropologist Eduardo Kohn discusses the meaning of perspectival multinatural semiotics following his time with the Kichua in Ecuador. Finally, the book concludes with two episodes from Berlin, where the book was produced: architect and neighborhood activist Silvan Linden portrays a case study of Berlin’s controversial urban “wild,” and landscape architect and photographer Sandra Bartoli reverently illuminates the little-known history of the oldest trees surviving in the Tiergarten, Berlin’s central park and former royal hunting forest. Throughout the book, artist Katie Holten’s “Tree Alphabet” evokes connections between the book and its arboreal origins.

 

The Word for World is Still Forest. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. With contributions by Sandra Bartoli, Kevin Beiler, Shannon Castleman, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Silvan Linden, Yanni A. Loukissas, Eduardo Kohn, Pedro Neves Marques, Abel Rodríguez, Carlos Rodríguez, Suzanne Simard, Anna-Sophie Springer, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, and Catalina Vargas Tovar. Design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer

 

English

232 Pages

13 x 21 cm

41 Color & 37 black/white images

Softcover, thread-bound

ISBN  978-3-9818635-0-5

 

Published by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in February 2017

 

Reviewed by Jason Groves, Open Humanities Press’s Feedback Blog, 13 July 2017.

 

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago

— intercalations 3, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, June 2017

intercalations 3 … unfolds an itinerant encounter with nineteenth-century European naturalists in the Malay world, where the theory of evolution by natural selection emerged alongside less celebrated concerns about mass extinction and climate change; by re-considering the reverse hallucinatory condition of colonial science in the tropics—how scientists learned to not see what was manifestly present—the reader-as-exhibition-viewer may exhume from the remains of this will to knowledge an ethical conviction of particular relevance for confronting forms of neocolonization in the Anthropocene.

 

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago reflects on the changing role of colonial natural history collections in the current ecological crisis called the Anthropocene. The volume features a major essay by the editors that reconsiders the histories of scientific publications and personal letters sent by European naturalists from the tropics in order to discern a schizophrenic dilemma at the core of the colonial-scientific project. The book also includes a science fiction graphic novella by Mark von Schlegell, Iwank Celenk, and the SLAVE PIANOS (together with the Indonesian punk band Punkasila) about a futurist entomological meltdown. Photographer Fred Langford Edwards presents a series of works documenting tropical specimens held in the natural history collections of the British Natural History Museum, while artist Lucy Davis uses DNA tracking and oral history to retrace the path of teak furniture from Singapore to Indonesian plantations. Also featured in the collection are interviews with the entomologist George Beccaloni, who is also the director of the Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project, as well as the geologists James Russell and Satrio Wicaksono, who discuss, respectively, the history of biological specimen collecting in the context of a drilling project in Lake Towuti (Sulawesi) that recently obtained soil samples containing 800,000 years of Southeast Asian climate history. To compliment these pieces, musician and writer Rachel Thompson adds a two-part essayistic composition relaying the Javanese osteo-mythology of the Dutch paleoanthropologist Eugène Dubious. The volume also includes an original translation (from German) of a text by Matthias Glaubrecht, director of the Center for Natural History in Hamburg, which outlines the maddening rate of species extinction in the rapidly transforming Malay world. Zenzi Suhadi, Head of the Department of Research, Advocacy, and Environmental Law at the Indonesian non-governmental organization WALHI/Friends of the Earth, also discusses the detrimental role of monocrop plantations, especially oil palm. A series of drone photographs by Akademi Drone Indonesia, a group of young environmental activists from Nusantara, documents controversial land-grabs in the region, demonstrating the ongoing environmental violence that is perpetuated for profit.

 

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. With contributions by Akademi Drone Indonesia, George Beccaloni, Lucy Davis, Fred Langford Edwards, Christina Leigh Geros, Matthias Glaubrecht, Geraldine Juárez, Radjawali Irendra, James Russell, Mark von Schlegell, Iwank Celenk & SLAVE PIANOS, Anna-Sophie Springer, Zenzi Suhadi, Paulo Tavares, Rachel Thompson, Etienne Turpin, and Satrio Wicaksono. Design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer.

 

English

13 x 21 cm

264 Pages

49 Color & 39 black/white images

Softcover, thread-bound

ISBN 978-3-9818635-1-2

 

Published by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in June 2017

Fantasies of the Library

— a second, expanded and hardcover edition, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin, published by The MIT Press, 2016

 

Fantasies of the Library lets readers experience the library anew. The book imagines, and enacts, the library as both keeper of books and curator of ideas—as a platform of the future. One essay occupies the right-hand page of a two-page spread while interviews scrolls independently on the left. Bibliophilic artworks intersect both throughout the book-as-exhibition. A photo essay, “Reading Rooms Reading Machines” further interrupts the book in order to display images of libraries (old and new, real and imagined), and readers (human and machine) and features work by artists including Kader Atta, Wafaa Bilal, Mark Dion, Rodney Graham, Katie Paterson, Veronika Spierenburg, and others.

 

The book includes an essay on the institutional ordering principles of book collections; a conversation with the proprietors of the Prelinger Library in San Francisco; reflections on the role of cultural memory and the archive; and a dialogue with a new media theorist about experiments at the intersection of curatorial practice and open source ebooks. The reader emerges from this book-as-exhibition with the growing conviction that the library is not only a curatorial space but a bibliological imaginary, ripe for the exploration of consequential paginated affairs. The physicality of the book—and this book—“resists the digital,” argues coeditor Etienne Turpin, “but not in a nostalgic way.”

 

With contributions by Erin Kissane, Hammad Nasar, Megan Shaw Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Anna-Sophie Springer, Charles Stankievech, Katharina Tauer, Etienne Turpin, Andrew Norman Wilson, Joanna Zylinska.

 

Hardcover | $24.95 Trade | £18.95
ISBN: 9780262035200 | 160 pp.
5.125 x 8.25 in | 30 color illus., 15 b&w illus.
September 2016

 

Reviewed by Gill Partington, Times Literary Supplement, 18 January 2017, 33.

Reviewed by Jussi Parikka, Leonardo On-Line, 4 April 2017.

A Taxonomy of Palm Oil

— an installation by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) as part of the exhibition "Emergent Ecologies" curated by Eben Kirksey and others, 2015/16

 

29 February – 31 March 2016
Princeton University
Butler College
Princeton, USA

 

30 April – 18 June 2016
Kilroy Metal Ceiling
283 Greene Ave
Brooklyn, USA

 

The mixed-media installation A Taxonomy of Palm Oil was first developed for the exhibition 125,660 Specimens of Natural History, Jakarta, 2015. The centerpiece of this installation is a collection of 100 specimens of products containing either palm oil or a palm oil derivative; these samples demonstrate the variety of manufactured goods which use palm oil, and connect every one of their consumer to the deforestation in the tropics.

 

In Jakarta, these products where all sourced on the Indonesian market; when Eben Kirksey asked to include the project in his exhibition Emergent Ecologies, we produced a new version of the piece based on products that are available to customers in America. As an array of specimens nearly as colorful as those nineteenth-century cases of tropical butterflies or beetles, this collection presents the postnatural commodities annihilating tropical biodiversity in the Anthropocene.

 

Design & Research Assistants: Robin Hartanto, Widya Ramadhani
Research Assistant: Louis Steven
Layout: Alexandra Berceanu

The Lesson of Zoology: A Physis is being organized...

— an online reading room curated by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) in collaboration with the Center for Postnatural History as Folder #02 of Unfold: The Volume Project curated by Sara Giannini, 2016

 

Our intervention in Unfold: The Volume Project, “The Lesson of Zoology: A Physis is being organized…,” departed from a lithograph, which first appeared during a visit to contemporary Lisbon. While researching the role of Lisbon’s Geographical Society in one of the first planetary colonizations, we happened upon an antiquarian bookshop with seemingly endless piles of natural history prints. Among them, “The Lesson” stood out as an especially compelling meta-image of just what a lesson is—an ordering of nature, by way of presentation, about who intended to possess the earth.

 

Based on our found image, we decided to itemize the equipment that makes the discursive reality of a lesson compelling and the following eight terms thus structured our “library of folders” in the virtual reading room of Unfold: Organ; Apparatus; Report; Anatomy (Comparative); Professor; Model (Cosmos); Bone; and, Table. We filled these folders with a vast amount of files ranging from book chapters (many of which we scanned ourselves), to video and audio files, reproduction of historical images as well as works of contemporary art.

 

As a commission within the commission, The Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh, co-directed by Rich Pell and Lauren Allen, moreover contributed a selection of archival material from its collection which was digitized especially on the occasion of Unfold#2: The Lesson of Zoology.

 

Read the project’s introductory essay, by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin with Walter Benjamin.

 

Read an interview by Sara Giannini with Anna-Sophie and Etienne.

 

To access the library of the—now archived—project download the .zip file at unfold.thevolumeproject.com > “FOLDED” > UNFOLD #2.

125,660 Specimens of Natural History

— an exhibition curated by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) in collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) & Museum Zoologi Bogor, Summer 2015

 

15 August – 15 September 2015
Komunitas Salihara
Jakarta, Indonesia

 

The exhibition 125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam (125,660 Specimens of Natural History) was the first iteration of the ongoing curatorial research project—Reassembling the Natural—which addresses colonial natural history collections through the environmental transformations they produced. More specifically, the project engages with the contemporary legacy of the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823– 1913), best known for co-discovering the theory of evolution by natural selection. From 1854 to 1862, Wallace travelled the Malay Archipelago, documenting the region’s biodiversity and amassing a gigantic collection of 125,660 specimens for European museums. In the context of his exploration, he also kept meticulous notebooks and journals, sent letters, and wrote numerous scientific articles and books, most notably the travel chronicle, The Malay Archipelago: The land of the orang-utan, and the bird of paradise—A narrative of travel, with sketches of man and nature, published in 1869 after his return to England.

 

By inviting artists to retrace, re-appropriate, or reassess Wallace’s expedition, specimens, documents, and various artifacts, the exhibition 125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam explored how transcultural collaborative approaches to artistic and scientific practice can address urgent environmental questions. It took place from August to September 2015 at the gallery of the multi-arts center Komunitas Salihara in Jakarta, Indonesia, and presented works by 26 contributors—including ten newly created artworks by artists from Indonesia—alongside archival materials, historical objects, and zoological specimens from the Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Science (MZB/LIPI) at Bogor-Cibinong.

 

With artworks and contributions by Ari Bayuaji, Shannon Castleman, Lucy Davis, Mark Dion, Fred Langford Edwards, Sigrid Espelien & farid rakun (EQUANORTH), Theo Frids Hutabarat, Geraldine Juarez, Flora Lichtman & Sharon Shattuck, Cindy Lin & Lintang Radittya, Aprina Murwanti & Bharoto Yekti, Intan Prisanti, Edwin Scholes & Tim Laman, Ary Sendy, Andreas Siagian, Zenzi Suhadi (WALHI), Laleh Torab, Satrio Wicaksono (Towuti Drilling Project), Tintin Wulia, Mahardika Yudha, Robert Zhao Renhui.

 

The zoological specimens presented in the exhibition were selected in collaboration with Prof Dr Rosichon Ubaidillah, Dr Awit Suwito, Dr Amir Hamidy, Ir. Maharadatunkamsi, Dr. Djunijati Peggie, and Mohammad Irham from the Pusat Penelitian Biologi, Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (MZB/LIPI), Cibinong, Indonesia.

 

125.660 Spesimen Sejarah Alam was realized in partnership with the multi-arts center Komunitas Salihara and the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense/Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI/MZB) and in cooperation with Schering Stiftung. Additional support was given by the Goethe-Institut, the British Council, and the Office for Contemporary Art, Norway.

 

For more information see the photo essay “Vestiges of 125,660 Specimens of Natural History” in Stedelijk Studies, No. 04, or visit ReassemblingNature.org.

Land & Animal & Nonanimal

— intercalations 2, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, 2015

intercalations 2 … a lively ensemble arguing that the meaning of the Anthropocene is less a geological re-formation than it is trans-formation of modern-colonial categories of live and non-life; once exposed to some of the parameters defining this transition, the reader-as-exhibition-viewer may begin to discern erratic rhythms generated by the creatures of nonconformity that inhabit, with their violence, struggles, and love, the vast, machinic wanderer called Earth.

 

Land & Animal & Nonanimal attends to the various postnatural becomings, beings, and landscapes of planet Earth. In an interview about urban soils of the Anthropocene, landscape architect Seth Denizen considers a history of land use practices that are also reflected in artist Robert Zhao Renhui’s photographs of Singapore’s incessant development. Inspired by a recent visit to the environment of Wendover in the Utah desert, Richard Pell and Lauren Allen of Pittsburgh’s Center for PostNatural History make a case for including postnatural entities and events within the emerging discourse on the Anthropocene. Encountering “the last snail,” environmental historian and philosopher Thom van Dooren considers the meaning of hope and care in the context of species extinction. Meanwhile, Natasha Ginwala curates a paginated intervention on cosmic animal ancestrality with contributions by Bianca Baldi, Arvo Leo, Axel Staschnoy, and Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne. In a two-part essay split across the volume, sound artist Mitchell Akiyama explores philosophies of consciousness and language against the background of the phonogram in nineteenth-century simian research.

 

Land & Animal & Nonanimal. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. With contributions by Mitchell Akiyama, Lauren Allen and Richard Pell, Bianca Baldi, Seth Denizen, Natasha Ginwala, Arvo Leo, Thom van Dooren, Axel Straschnoy, Etienne Turpin, Robert Zhao Renhui, and Andros Zins-Browne. Design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer.

 

English

13 x 21 cm

160 pages

13 Color & 39 black/white images

Softcover, thread-bound

ISBN 978-0-9939074-1-8

 

Published by K. Verlag and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in January 2015

 

Reviewed by Xenia Benivolski, in Art Book Review, 6 June 2015.

 

Download PDF

 

Fantasies of the Library

— intercalations 1, co-edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & HKW, 2015

intercalations 1 … an unruly sequence of pages wherein the reader-as-exhibition-viewer learns, rather surprisingly—but with growing conviction—that the library is not only a curatorial space, but that its bibliological imaginary is also a fertile territory for the exploration of paginated affairs in the Anthropocene.

 

In the inaugural volume of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series, Fantasies of the Library, Anna-Sophie Springer’s feature essay, “Melancholies of the Paginated Mind,” which takes up heterodox approaches to the institutional order and organization of book collections, is virtually stacked alongside the other contributions, including an interview with Rick Prelinger and Megan Prelinger of the Prelinger Library in San Francisco; reflections on the role of archives and cultural memory by Hammad Nasar, then Head of Research and Programmes at the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; a conversation with media theorist Joanna Zylinska about experiments at the intersection of curatorial practice and open source e-books; and, a discussion between K.’s initial co-founder Charles Stankievech and platform developer Adam Hyde on new approaches to open-source publishing in science and academia. The image essay, “Reading Rooms–Reading Machines” (also by Springer), presents views of unusual historical libraries next to works by artists such as Kader Attia, Andrew Beccone, Mark Dion, Rodney Graham, Katie Paterson, Veronika Spierenburg, Andrew Norman Wilson, and others.

 

Fantasies of the Library. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. With contributions by Adam Hyde, Erin Kissane, Hammad Nasar, Megan Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Anna-Sophie Springer, Charles Stankievech, Etienne Turpin, and Joanna Zylinska. Design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer.

 

English
160 Pages, 13 x 21 cm
30 Color & 15 black/white images
Paperback, thread-bound
ISBN 978-0-9939074-0-1

 

Published by K. Verlag and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in January 2015

 

OUT OF PRINT

 

Read a review by Jason Groves

Read a review by Megan Liberty

Read a review by Ellef Prestsaeter

 

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Minor Ornithology

— an ongoing curatorial investigation by Reassembling the Natural (Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin) premiering at Pasar Burung Pramuka for the 15th Jakarta Biennale "Siasat" in 2013

 
Developed in 2013, the site-sensitive project For a Minor Ornithology was the first collaboration between Anna-Sophie Springer and Dr. Etienne Turpin. Commissioned by the 15th Jakarta Biennale, it founded Reassembling the Natural and became the first of numerous bird-related exhibition and publication projects (see below).
 
Under the theme “Siasat,” the 15th Jakarta Biennale aimed to examine the roles of citizens and artistic practices in both the city’s life and the city’s spaces. Etienne encountered the Jakarta bird market (Pasar Burung Pramuka), while he and Anna-Sophie were beginning to investigate the colonial legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace and his Southeast Asian natural history collection. For the installation For a Minor Ornithology, Etienne organized groups of Biennale visitors to commute from the exhibition to the bird market; on site, he prepared and mediated a set of conversations in which visitors could learn about the typical work of different vendors and bird breeders at the market; in return, the marketeers were pleased to share their knowledge, skills, and experience of a life with birds with international visitors through a live translation.
 
In the Biennale exhibition space, this communal activity was echoed with an installation of three diagrams, a short essay, and a vinyl record player resounding an album of birdsong normally used by a marketeer to teach his captive birds how to sing ex-machina. In the diagrams and the attendant essay, published in English and Bahasa Indonesia on the backsides of each diagram (which also served as take-away publications), Anna-Sophie and Etienne considered the remarkable role of birds for European scientific—not strictly ornithological—experiments (such as Robert Boyle’s proving the existence of the vacuum by bird suffocation), public museum displays (such as Charles Willson Peale’s bird wall based on Linnaean taxonomy and human exceptionalism), and taxidermy techniques (as practiced with great difficulty by A.R. Wallace during his eight-year collecting expedition in Nusantara).
 
The core concern for our Minor Ornithology project was to emphasize the ambivalence between minor science and major science—whether through questions of relationality and conviviality, evidence, display, or collection—in their varying ratios of capture and flight. As we wrote in the 2013 essay: “As minor experimentations become major normative assumptions, we discover the strange, contingent unfolding of the will to knowledge.”
 
Truly formative for Reassembling the Natural as a whole, this early project also became the first instantiation of a series of later projects, ranging from lectures to exhibitions and books, focusing specifically on avifauna and their role in the development of human knowledge, aesthetics, and culture.
 

Selected Works
 
These Birds of Temptation: intercalations 6. Book-as-exhibition edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. Berlin: K. Verlag & Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2021.
 
“Compensatory Postures: On Natural History, Necroaesthetics, and Humiliation.” Essay by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin in Theater, Garden, Bestiary, eds. Tristan Garcia and Vincent Normand. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019, 161–72.
 
“Reassembling the Natural: A.R. Wallace in the Anthropocene.” Lecture by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin for SeaTrek’s ‘On the Trail of A.R. Wallace’ Voyage, Halmahera, Indonesia, January 2018.
 
Media Ornithology in Paradise. Curatorial Assemblage (three instantiations) by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin in their exhibition cycle Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald (2017/18).
 
“These Birds of Paradise.” Essay by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin. Migrant Journal (December 2017): 118–27.
 
Inter Folia Aves: Reading Bird Books as Curatorial-Editorial Constellations.” Essay by Anna-Sophie Springer, in Publishing as Artistic Practice, ed. Annette Gilbert. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016. 134–52.
 
Little Birds Little Machines. Workshop held by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin, with Dr. Frank Steinheimer as special guide, in the Bird Collection of Berlin Natural History Museum for the HKW’s SYNAPSE International Curators’ Network cohort of 2015.
 
Necroaesthetics: Life and Death of Natural History. Lecture and workshop by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin as part of the Curatorial Research Lab “Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibitions” organized by Vincent Normand and Tristan Garcia at ECAL Lausanne, April 2015. Abstract / Video
 
For a Minor Ornithology. Installation and fold-out publication by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin, with graphic design by Jono Sturt. 15th Jakarta Biennale “Siasat,” November 2013.
 

TRAVERSALS: Conversations on Art and Writing

— a collection of interviews edited by Anna-Sophie Springer. Berlin: K. Verlag, 2014

 

TRAVERSALS is based on a series of conceptual interviews with Dora Garcia, Chris Kraus, Mark von Schlegell, Charles Stankievech, and Jacob Wren originally produced for an installation in an art gallery. As a re-issue of these texts, the publication continues my interest in the book-as-exhibition. Each invited contributor has found a unique way to explore the hybrid spaces between genres and art forms, and the discussions focus especially on the role and relationship between visual art and writing. While the interview process was rather formalized—with one set of five identical questions posed to each person in the first round, and then five individual questions asked in a second round in response to the first five answers—the texts themselves delight through a personal tone and a great openness for both idiosyncratic trajectories and unexpected traversals between the five different chapters.

 

The material was originally produced for the piece TRAVERSALS (With Ladder) shown in the exhibition 5x5Castelló2011 at Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló, Castelló, Spain (8 July – 18 September 2011).

 

On the occasion of 5×5 the interviews were pinned to the wall in a grid while a sliding library ladder allowed for a playfully embodied reading experience. The spatialised format revealed the parallels in the conversations as well as their differences—particularly as the conversations evolve.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer
Designed in collaboration with Charles Stankievech
Cloth-bound hardcover, 86 pages
1 image
ISBN 978-0-9877949-9-4 | 16 €

Published in September 2014

 

Cleave Backster Interrogates Janet Craig

— an installation by Anna-Sophie Springer for the exhibition CounterIntelligence, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, 2014

 

24 January – 16 March 2014
CounterIntelligence
Curated by Charles Stankievech
Justina M Barnicke Gallery
Hart House, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

 

Cleve Backster (1924–2013) was a CIA interrogation specialist who founded its polygraph (or “lie detector”) unit shortly after WWII. In the 1960s, he not only opened the longest running polygraph school in the world, the Backster School of Lie Detection, but also famously began to conduct biocommunication experiments with plants to see if they were sentient, something which he strongly came to believe. After first publishing his ideas in the International Journal of Parapsychology in 1968, it was not until 2003 that he published the book Primary Perception: Biocommunication with Plants, Living Foods, and Human Cells.

 

On the occasion of Charles Stankievech’s curatorial project CounterIntelligence, the installation Cleve Backster interrogates Janet Craig consisted of a Draceana house plant positioned in the corner of the exhibition’s soundproof interrogation room. The plant Backster experimented on in the 1960s is considered to be a Draceana, whereas Janet Craig is the name of a particularly attractive Draceana species.

 

EX LIBRIS

— a curatorial–editorial experiment in various locations, 2013

 

28 June – 31 July 2013
“Books Are For Use”
Library of the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig

 

5 July – 30 September 2013
“Anekdotische Topografien”
Wien Lukatsch | Galerie und Buchhandlung , Berlin

 

Since 15 September 2013
“Commonplace Books” AAAAARG.ORG

 

Realized in the summer of 2013, the multi-part EX LIBRIS project departed from investigating the inside of the book as a potential curatorial space. Initiated from within a series of specific libraries, EX LIBRIS comprised a number of book displays developed within these collections, where each iteration created its own constellation of meanings through the careful organization of selected publications ranging from mass-printed monographs to rare artists’ books and bound volumes to loose-leaf works on paper.

 

EX LIBRIS was purposefully situated between the exhibition and the editorial process. Using the library both as a resource for curatorial connections “from book to book” and as a direct platform, EX LIBRIS expanded my research interest in the book-as-exhibition to include the relationship between the book and its context. If the book traditionally is seen as the strategy for private consumption and research, and the gallery as the space for public exhibition and performance, the library—as the public place of reading—thus becomes the hybrid site for performing the book.

 

Each iteration of EX LIBRIS was accompanied by an individual miniature accordion publication published by K. Verlag and distributed for free in the exhibitions. These booklets include interviews with the respective “hosts” such as the gallerist and publisher Barbara Wien and Sean Dockray, the co-founder of the online platform Arg.org, as well as contextual information and a bibliography of the books engaged at each site.

 

A project curated by Anna-Sophie Springer with publication design by Charles Stankievech.

 

With thanks to Beatrice von Bismarck, Claudia Dahmer, Wilma Lukatsch, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Eve K. Tremblay, Thomas Weski, and Barbara Wien.

 

For more information and to download all publications, see

Books Are For Use

— EX LIBRIS 01: Library of the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, 2013

 

28 June – 31 July 2013
Library of the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig
Wächterstraße 11, EG left
D-04107 Leipzig

 

“Books Are for Use” is the first imperative S. R. Ranganathan discusses in his seminal guide to librarians, The Five Laws of Library Science, from 1931. Examples of historic practices of books kept chained to their shelves, unable “to migrate … beyond the length of the chain,” defend the statement against a seeming triviality and the sole assumption that “books are for preservation.”

 

The first book display in the EX LIBRIS series embraces this attitude of freedom and approaches the site of the public library at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig as a repository full of useful objects, themselves repositories stuffed with ideas, materials, knowledge, memories, relations, and artworks—both in original terms and as countless reproductions and adaptations. Spread throughout the spaces of the library, a selection of books have been opened, arranged and assembled. Presented are images of works on paper, using paper; originals, sometimes themselves based on reproductions, shown in reproduction; books within books. As combinations of materiality, image, and text, the books perform themselves. The books are in use. With works by Marcel Duchamp, Candida Höfner, Martin Kippenberger, Sol LeWitt, René Magritte, Ulrike Ottinger, Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Dayanita Singh, Daniel Spoerri, Ian Wallace, Andy Warhol, and others.

 

EKTBF451-EKTFF451: Ève K Tremblay Becoming Fahrenheit 451 – Ève K. Tremblay Forgetting Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury’s science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) has been the point of departure for an ongoing suite of work in progress by Canadian artist Ève K. Tremblay since 2007. The multifaceted project includes several photographic series, videos, texts, artist’s books, as well as public and private performances of the artist attempting to recite the novel from memory. On the occasion of the opening of EX LIBRIS, Tremblay could be witnessed traversing and occupying various places within the Academy Library, deeply engaged in her own memorization and recitation rituals. Attempting to absorb and learn by heart the text of an entire book is an extreme gesture for the intimate power in which reading shapes the way we think and thus who we are in the world. Furthermore, as a cognitive performance between becoming and forgetting EKTBF451-EKTFF451 pays a tribute to the boundless mental dimension always surrounding the material repository of the library.

 

For more information see

Anekdotische Topografien

— EX LIBRIS 02: Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin, 2013

 

5 – 19 July 2013
Wien Lukatsch
Galerie und Buchhandlung | gallery and bookshop for art books
Schöneberger Ufer 56, 3rd floor
D-10785 Berlin

 

Subtitled with an adapted quote of Daniel Spoerri’s multilayered book project, Topographie Anécdotée* du Hasard (1961–98), the second book display in the series of EX LIBRIS emerged from personal conversations with the gallerists and publishers Barbara Wien and Wilma Lukatsch.

 

A desire to support the connections between art and the world of the book lies at the heart of the work of Barbara Wien and Wilma Lukatsch. Founded in 1988 by Barbara Wien as the press and bookshop “Wiens Laden & Verlag” in West-Berlin, by today, a quarter century later, Wien has developed the gallery and bookshop to one of Berlin’s most interesting places for art and publishing. Nowadays located at its fourth address, the gallery has a history of regularly showing exhibitions by artists for whom the book is a central medium and has always been extended by an exquisitely stocked bookshop specialized in rarities of Fluxus and Conceptual Art.

 

In 1994 Barbara Wien edited the collected writings by Arthur Köpcke and in 2002 the collected interviews by Dieter Roth. Since 2008 Wilma Lukatsch and Barbara Wien have co-edited several books published by the press Wiens Verlag. One of these is the interview book Tomas Schmit / Wilma Lukatsch, Dreizehn Montagsgespräche, which is currently being translated into English. The publication series how to write, for which Wien and Lukatsch have co-edited several selected artist’s writings is a serial publishing project started in early 2013.

 

Presented in and on several table vitrines, the display of Anekdotische Topografien is integrated into the everyday scenery of the bookshop. A constellation of publications reflects the history of the place while trying to map these works in a larger context of artists book production and the question of the book-as-exhibition. In the focus are books and bookworks by Nina Canell, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Gundi Feyrer, Arthur Köpcke, George Maciunas, Nam June Paik, Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Tomas Schmit, Daniel Spoerri, Emmett Williams, and others. A complete series of Dieter Roth’s luxury edition of his Collected Works is displayed in a glass cabinet.

 

For more information and to download the publications, see

Commonplace Books

— EX LIBRIS 03: Arg.org, 2013

15 September 2013 and ongoing
GRR.AAAAARG.ORG
http://grr.aaaaarg.org/txt/collection/detail.php?id=52333d4d307888cb75000006

 

Dating back to antiquity and with particular popularity in the Renaissance period, “commonplace books” are a type of scholarly notebook containing a collection of excerpted and copied passages that a person compiled and stored for future purposes such as reference and quotation. How to actually keep and organize a commonplace book was a small science in itself. John Locke’s text A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books (1706) suggested some techniques—one of which is a system of classifying and coding entries into a growing subject index, one’s personal potential encyclopedia. While physical notebooks remain a treasure to keep and even if we do not yet live in a truly paperless age, our commonplace of today is that we access and store a huge amount of information digitally. By engaging an online library, specifically the Arg library, “Commonplace Books” seeks to address shifts in how we approach notions such as the “common” or the “public” more openly and actively than ever.

 

A PDF has been created from excerpted and copied passages of thematically relevant publications available in digital form in the Arg library. It has been uploaded back onto the platform and a link appeared in the “New Texts” section on http://grr.aaaaarg.org making it available to all network users.

 

For more information and to download the publications see

The Subjective Object

— a book-as-exhibition edited by Anna-Sophie Springer. Berlin: K. Verlag, 2012

 

The Subjective Object engages with the controversial site of the ethnographic museum and the role of the archive. In particular, the 1920’s photographic archive of the indigenous people of India by the German physical anthropologist and racist theorist Egon von Eickstedt (1892–1965) serves as a case study for an investigation into the role of historical artifacts in light of contemporary political situations. The nine interviews with curators, artists, anthropologists, and social workers provide the core of the book actively discussing the complicated issues around the archive’s function in producing know- ledge. An annotated thread of images serves as a critical apparatus addressing the visual history of ethnographic display and classification practices—both in the scientific field as well as the cultural field at large. Questioning the assumption that the archive presents the “fact” of the “Other,” three literary texts counterpoint the inherent fantasies within scientific research. Just as the book begins with an archive—the Eickstedt photos—the book ends with a new archive—photos of the exhibition The Subjective Object – (Re)Appropriating Anthropological Images at the GRASSI Ethnographic Museum of Leipzig—illustrating the project’s desire to not only engage with the history of display but also to propose a future of display strategies and social engagement.

 

Interviews with Carola Krebs, Meghnath, Theo Rathgeber, Nora Sternfeld, Alexandra Karentzos, Christopher Pinney, Philip Scheffner, Britta Lange, Jeske Fezer, and Raqs Media Collective.

 

Literary Texts by Franz Kafka, Brion Gyrin, and Suzan-Lori Parks.

 

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition The Subjective Object – Von der (Wieder-)Aneignung anthropologischer Bilder, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig.

 

Curated by Nicola Beißner, Anna Dobrucki, Anna Jehle, Julia Kurz, Anja Lückenkemper, Barbara Mahlknecht, Katja Thekla Meyer, Ksenija Orelj, Katharina Schniebs, Nefeli Skarmea, Anna-Sophie Springer, Edda Wilde, und Olga Wostrezowa.

 

A project of “Kulturen des Kursorischen,” Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig.

 

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer
142 Pages (Bilingual Deutsch/English)
Color + black/white images
ISBN: 978-0-9877949-1-8

 

Out of Print.

 

For more information see

The Subjective Object

— an exhibition curated by the participants of Kulturen des Kuratorischen, GRASSI Ethnographic Museum, Leipzig, 2012

TRAVERSALS

— an installation by Anna-Sophie Springer in collaboration with Dora Garcia, Chris Kraus, Mark von Schlegell, Charles Stankievech, and Jacob Wren; Espai d'Art Contemporani, Castello, Spain, 2011

Ha Ha Road

— a group exhibition on the subversive agency of humor curated by Dave Ball & Anna-Sophie Springer for Quad Gallery, Derby, and Mostyn Gallery, UK, 2011

 

Exploring the use of humour in contemporary art, the exhibition, Ha Ha Road, presented the work of 25 international artists who play with “a rupture of sense.” Taking its title from the name of a street, the exhibition plays on its double meaning. Apart from its connection with laughter, a “ha-ha” also refers to a type of sunken boundary: a wall or fence set into a trench, forming a hidden division in a landscape while preserving the scenic view. This invisible frontier serves as a neat metaphor for our relationship to the world of laughter. Strangely indistinguishable from the familiar terrain of normality, a joke transports us to a place where sense breaks down, where the familiar is turned on its head, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and where the world means differently. Nothing has changed and yet everything has changed. This is the paradoxical condition of humour, and the source of its disruptive power. The show explores what it means to step over this barrier and to set foot into the inexplicable and illogical world of humour. The selected artworks demonstrate how acts of absurdity, irrationality or playfulness can interrupt reality and momentarily destabilise our common assumptions. The strategies used by the artists in Ha Ha Road serve to illustrate the liberating freedom of thought at work in humour. They invite us to look at the world from the other side of the fence.

 

With artworks by Boris Achour, Chantal Ackerman, Bobby Baker, Dave Ball, Anna + Bernhard Blume, Stella Capes, Yara El-Sherbini, Fischli + Weiss, Ceal Floyer, Rodney Graham, Ellie Harrison, Debbie Lawson, Mike Marshall, Kirsten Pieroth, Pipilotti Rist, Mathew Sawyer, Ariel Schlesinger, Hank Schmidt in der Beek, Michael Shaw, Roman Signer, Charles Stankievech, Annika Ström, Bedwyr Williams, Dan Witz, and Erwin Wurm.

 

The exhibition was produced by QUAD, Derby, in collaboration with Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, both UK.