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Politics of Nature | Universtät St. Gallen

The conference calls attention to the politics of nature, a key feature of contemporary neoliberalism and its planetary ambitions. Late capitalism has not only wide-ranging effects on the transformation of labor and subjectivities, but is also causing drastic changes in the government of nature. While the “limits-to-growth” environmentalism of the 1960s placed ecology at the center of the intellectual agenda, and the “sustainable development” movement launched in the 80’s replaced old-fashioned notions of nature with “the environment”, the current popularity of the category of the Anthropocene and climate crisis are promoting the grand narrative of an Earth-at-risk.

The purpose of the conference is to stimulate a cross-disciplinary reflection on the “states of nature” that are emerging from discourses centered on the threat of abrupt planetary environmental catastrophes, chronical conditions of ecological vulnerability, strategies of security, survival and adaptation, and the political and poetical imaginary of extinction and mutation. What is the role, responsibility, and complicity of critical theory and the arts in shaping the political and aesthetic reactions to large-scale eco-social devastations? What is the relation between the logic of coloniality and the Anthropocenic political episteme of deep history, unpredictable planetary tipping points, fear and resilience? What are the intellectual and political implications of our current, and conflicting, politics of nature?

Organised by Federico Luisetti and Emmanuel Alloa (School for Humanities and Social Sciences, Universität St. Gallen).

The conference was sponsored by the Universität St. Gallen, Research Committee, in collaboration with the Italian Thought Network


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Leave no Stone unturned | Le Cube, Rabat

Leave No Stone Unturned [Remuer la terre] is a collective exhibition, curated by Clelia Coussonnet, that highlights the links between plants and politics in Morocco and other countries of the global South, while rejecting the idea that nature is ornamental and neutral. By scratching the visible surface to plunge into the interstices and gaps of history, the selected works show plants are intertwined in power networks and suffer from the paradox of being knowledge resources simultaneously accessible and subjected to processes of invisibility. While human impact on climate and environmental change is increasingly discussed in public and scientific debates, still few institutions and individuals explore in depth the largely underestimated relations between plants and politics. Flora is indeed an actor, a pawn and a witness of History, revealing narratives forgotten and eluded by official history’s records.


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Conversing with Leaves | Kunsthalle Mainz

Conversing with Leaves at Kunsthalle Mainz

A survey exhibition which brings together Theatrum Botanicum, Soil Affinities, Wishing Trees and Learning from Plants. Trees as actors in history, the migration of flowers, and medicinal plants testifying to neo-extractivism – these are some of the themes that Uriel Orlow pursues in his research-based art. Concrete circumstances and developments invariably form the basis of his multi-layered, multi-media works. In recent years his attention has mainly focused on entanglements between the African continent and Europe. Plants are both the narrators and protagonists here, anchoring all the events in the present day. For his solo show at Kunsthalle Mainz the artist has developed a route through the exhibition that takes visitors room by room from the origins of colonialism via the anti-apartheid movement through to contemporary concerns.


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The Twin | Coventry Biennial

Works by Art & Language, Jordan Baseman, Paul Chan & Badlands Unlimited, Matthew Darbyshire, Joseph DeLappe, Lisa Denyer, Jacqueline Donachie, Caitriona Dunnett, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mona Hatoum, Juneau Projects, Navi Kaur, Smirna Kulenović, Uriel Orlow, Lis Rhodes, Shirana Shahbazi, Larissa Shaw, Thomson & Craighead and others.


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Soil is an Inscribed Body | Savvy Contemporary, Berlin

Soil is an Inscribed Body: On Sovereignty, Agropoetics and Struggles for Liberations is a project examining both the anti-colonial struggles of the past and the current land conflicts across the world to resist the invasiveness of neo-agro-colonialism and its extractivist logic. Curated by Elena Agudio and Marleen Boschen with works by Marwa Arsanios, Filipa César, Hassan Darsi, Raphaël GriseyLeone Contini, Julia Mensch, Pedro Neves Marques and Uriel Orlow.


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Garden of Earthly Delights | Gropius Bau, Berlin

In this large-scale group exhibition, artists including Pipilotti Rist, Rashid Johnson, Maria Thereza Alves, Uriel Orlow, Jumana Manna, Taro Shinoda and Heather Phillipson interpret the motif of the garden as a metaphor for the state of the world and as a poetic expression to explore the complexities of our increasingly precarious world. Their artworks open up a wider discourse on social, political and ecological phenomena, such as migration, gentrification and gender politics. In addition to common understanding of the garden as a place of yearning full of meditative, spiritual and philosophical possibilities, the exhibition will tread the line between reality and fantasy, harmony and chaos, beauty and exile.

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Fragile Earth | MIMA, Middlesborough

MIMA’s summer exhibition presents artistic responses to current urgencies around ecological change. Works by Maria Thereza Alves, Zheng Bo, Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, Miriam de Búrca, Laura Harrington, Andy Holden, David Lisser, Shahar Livne, Anne Vibeke Mou, Otobong Nkanga, Uriel Orlow, Faiza Ahmad Khan and Hanna Rullman, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Cooking Sections, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Diane Watson, Wayward.

 


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