What would Nature Say if We Asked the Right Questions?

Galerija Forum, Nikole Tesle 16, Galerija na katu, KIC, Preradovićeva 5

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Group exhibition on planetary interconnectedness

Galerija Forum, Galerija na katu, KIC

25. 3. – 22. 4. 2024.

Kustosica: Ivana Meštrov

With Mirna Kutleša, Labverde, Jodie Mack, Tonka Maleković, Ana Zubak (Tajno šumsko društvo), Josip Poljak and collections of Croatian Natural History Museum

In today’s era of strong polarities and ambivalences, which often result in the capitalization of square meters at the expense of forests, but also with increasing echoes of criticism of the Anthropocene – a geological period in which human collective activity dominates the environment and leads to destructive climate changes, scenarios of universal collapse, and extinction, this exhibition project deals with speculative, philosophical, and scientific strategies for good cohabitation. It is worth asking: What stories are possible while we are (still) here? What does it mean to be human connected to others, or nature, which includes all non-human or more-than-human? How to think about collaborative survival and more ecologically aware coexistence? What ancient knowledge is worth uncovering?

The works in the exhibition range from biosemiotic meditations on climate change and ecologies of the southern hemisphere to collective research mappings of the Amazon and critical examinations of human species domination over the animal species throughout history. During the exhibition, visitors will also be able to participate in “Fitness for Unlikely Species,” which encourages the human species to channel their bodily experience through physical movement while simultaneously questioning and intertwining fitness practices with the ecological concept of mimicking more-than-human worlds. Using the practice of mimicry, these somatic shape-changing exercises can be considered relational tools for finding new ways of resistance, confrontation, and mourning. Specifically, they can help participants of all mobility levels address their own eco-anxiety and grief for the environment. As Donna Haraway would say, to deal with the trouble into which we have self-initiated as humans, on the brink of the sixth extinction. Participatory works within the exhibition empower connections with nature, empathy, and ecological awareness for all age groups through an unconventional approach to environmental observation and nature learning through play.

A significant part of the exhibition is also a micro-collection established in collaboration with curators from the Croatian Natural History Museum, accompanied by philosophical and anthropological texts by Vinciane Despret and Philippe Descole and intertwined with Elizabeth Kolbert’s research on climate change, which, in addition to creating a new and unusual presence in the exhibition space of the Gallery Forum, transcends the dichotomy of nature-culture, revealing unexpected, suppressed meanings, deconstructing anthropocentric interpretations.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a Darwinian reading group, lectures on coexistence with invasive species and speculative ecologies, and a series of intergenerational workshops. As part of the exhibition, cooperation has been established with the SPOT Gallery through a panel discussion “Reading Nature – The Institutionalization of Nature through Photography”, accompanying program of the exhibition Birds by Katarina Ivanišin Kardum.

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