Artists: Šimon Chovan, Marina Hendrychová, Alicja Rogalska, Lucie Rosenfeldová, P. Staff, Serina Tarkhanian Սերինա Թարխանյան
Curated by Hana Janečková
Opening lecture: 23. 11. 2023, 6 p.m. / Serina Tarkhanian ՍԵՐԻՆԱ ԹԱՐԽԱՆՅԱՆ
Opening: 23. 11. 2023, 7 p.m.
Nature Red in Tooth and Claw addresses the intersections between nature, violence and the body through the concept of immunity, which is not considered only in the biological sense but as a system reflected in ecology, politics and society.
The process of making this project is the starting point for a reflection on the relationship between ecology, human health and contagion, highlighting our underlying beliefs of competition and survival when it comes to our relationship to the natural world. Nature Red in Tooth and Claw, – a phrase by British poet Alfred Tennyson that was at least as much known as the more familiar ‘survival of the fittest’, starts at the imaginary animal market, the birth of the Covid pandemics.
Dismantling a militarized thinking about health and nature, the project presents several artistic interventions where autoimmunity, parasite and queer ways of being show contradictions in the human centric views on immunity. Inspired by the Italian philosopher Robert Esposito’s discussion on the relationships between immunity and community, it seeks to think how reciprocity and rebalancing – and even a contagion may offer an important contribution to the collective co-habitation at the time of the sixth extinction, which scientific modernity has failed to acknowledge.
The exhibition includes several new works, a commission by Armenian Canadian artist and designer Serina Tarkhanian, a result of their long term collaboration with microbiological experts conceived as a community healing tool, a new sculpture series by Šimon Chovan reversing modernist notion of hygiene and digital collages by Lucie Rosenfeldova inspired by feminist posthumanist thinking. Together with works by Alicja Rogalska, P.Staff and Marina Hendrychova it reconfigures the community, poetics and desire where a conventional protection is contested by the current urgency to accept risks and alienation as a way out of ecological ruin.
As part of the opening, the exhibition will feature an inaugural lecture by designer and theorist Serina Tarkhanian ՍԵՐԻՆԱ ԹԱՐԽԱՆՅԱՆ. It will be followed by lectures and discussion about quarantine, biosolidarity and politics of immunity with theorists Sophie Lewis, Mark Neocleous and curator Zuzana Jakalová and her guests in Jan and Feb 2024 and exhibition tours with curator Hana Janečková.
Hana Janečková is a curator, researcher and writer working on the politics of the body, ecology, feminism and collaborative curating in recent and contemporary art. She is the Curator of the Czech Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. Since 2023 she has been Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague. For 2021-22, she was a Fulbright-Masaryk Scholar at the Institute for Research on Women (IRW) and CWAH, Rutgers University and Brooklyn Museum. Until recently she was the member of the curatorial collective at Display Association for Research and Collective Practice, Prague ( 2018-2023) where she curated several critically acclaimed research projects.
Over the past ten years she has curated a large number of international exhibitions and live events and commissioned new writing, publications, contemporary moving image and performance. Her first book Feminist Alliances and the Politics of the Body is forthcoming.
More information here.
Cover picture: Serina Tarkhanian, Co-Healing: an institutional reform for caring with, 2020, Photo by Ronald-Smits