November 9, 2014

The Research Centre for Practicing Nature

posted in exhibitions, projects

Johanna Weissenrieder, Missing pieces

The Research Centre for Practicing Nature
Sanne van Gent, Johanna Weissenrieder
OPENING: 15 November 2014 at 19.00h

Every lingering remnant in adults’ memory of the atmosphere of enchanted forests, every last vestige in them of belief in miracles, every breath of theirs which still inhales a perfume of fairytales reveals itself beneath the wretched, crazed disguise of these feebly invented landscapes, and exposes man and his senseless treasure-chest filled with intellectual trinkets, his superstitions, his ravings. Here he squats, surrounded by all the round pebbles he could find, counting them and laughing: He is happy.
Louis Aragon. Paris Peasant, 1994: 120

Most dictionaries define artificial as something that does not appear in nature. Yet if nature created humans, wouldn’t anything man created be the by-product of nature itself? Why do we regard objects or products created by man as “unnatural”?

If we follow this thought further, one can view almost everything as being artificial, even trees, since before their presence on earth, they were not “natural”. Therefore, nothing must be natural since before it existence, it must already “exist” in nature for it to be considered natural. Still how do we, collectively and individually, determine and regard what is natural and what is artificial?

Inspired by this question, Sanne van Gent (NL) and Johanna Weissenrieder (SE) study the often vague distinction between existing (natural) landscapes and the cultivated ones, thus created by a man. The Research Center for Practicing Nature, is their collaborative endeavour which consists of a working period, an exhibition with a performance event, a window shop with customized products, and a discussion during the Conversa evening on the 3rd of December.

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