Aneta Rostkowska: Moss time. Towards vegetal curating
Lecture in the context of the event series "The Damaged Planet – Solidarity with our wounded planet" from winter semester 2021/22 at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM)
Thursday, January 27, 7 p.m., online
Zoom-Link via Mail, please send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last years we can observe a proliferation of thinkers and curators claiming that the vision of nature as a completely depoliticized means of improving our mood, a perfectly functioning consumption object, is not the only one we have at our disposal. They aim to free the world of plants from the reactionary context of interior design magazines and superficial eco-trends, revealing its emancipatory potential leading to a substantial transformation of our worldviews. Through questioning of the common understanding of plants as mechanical 'things' that react solely to simple stimuli, they allow plants to leave the lowest position in the hierarchy of beings (traditionally ascribed to them by many philosophers), leading to a vision of a fundamental continuity between humans and plants, the latter of which – dynamic, breathing and growing – are endowed with intentionality and even memory.
In her lecture Aneta Rostkowska would like not only to analyse the presence of nature and nature-related themes in contemporary curatorial practices but also to provide her own vision concerning how this new, potentially (r)evolutionary approach to plants could be followed by a structural change in the basic organisational 'unit' of the art world: the art institution.
Aneta Rostkowska is a curator, researcher and writer, a graduate of the de Appel Curatorial Programme in Amsterdam. She is pursuing curatorial practices in which politically relevant storytelling develops through carefully constructed sensual environments. Rostkowska studied philosophy, economics and art history in Kraków, Poznań, Heidelberg and Frankfurt am Main. She worked as a curator at Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art in Kraków (2011-2016) and at the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne (2016-2018). Since January 2019 she is a director of Temporary Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Art in Cologne. Apart from curating, she has also been teaching art theory, art history and philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Art Academy of Szczecin, Dutch Art Institue in Arnhem, University of Cologne and Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf.
The KHM’s series of events began with the earth system researcher and marine biologist Antje Boetius and the dramatist Frank M. Raddatz, on their collective project "Theatre of the Anthropocene". Uriel Orlow’s research-based and multidisciplinary praxis saw plants as political actors and deals with the ghosts of colonialism. The excursion with the nature guide and forest educator Michael Zobel to the Hambach Forest was postponed to the summer semester due to corona.
The series will be continued in the summer semester 2022.
Organisers: Pascal Dreier, Beate Gütschow, Thomas Hawranke, Ute Hörner, Fatima Kastner, Isabell Lorey and Kathrin Röggla.