A New We

September 14 – December 21, 2017

Kunsthall Trondheim
Norway

Kunsthall Trondheim presents A New We – a group exhibition focusing on multispecies storytelling and empathy. A New We presents works by Amanda Ackerman & Dan Richert (USA), Honey Biba Beckerlee (Denmark), Ursula Biemann (Switzerland), Karin Bolender (USA), FRAUD (Fran Gallardo (Spain) & Audrey Samson (Canada)), Kathy High (USA), Oskar Jakobsen (Sweden), Arendse Krabbe (Denmark), Rosemary Lee (USA), Rachel Mayeri (USA), angela rawlings (Canada/Iceland) og Asbjørn Skou (Denmark).

A New We will unfold in two ‘chapters’. While the exhibition in the main part of the space will be ongoing throughout the fall, our inner room will be dedicated to two different presentations operating within a different time frame: during the first chapter you will find an installation by with Krista Caballero (USA) and Frank Ekeberg (Norway). From November 2 Johannes Heldén (Sweden) will take over the room.

What sort of collectives are at stake in this so-called Anthropocene epoch – in a time when the human is identified as a crucial, and excessively destructive geological force?

How do mutating ecologies change and redefine more-than-human communities; what worlds are disappearing, and what worlds are emerging when species meet at the threshold of planetary mass-extinctions? How do we inhabit these wretched landscapes, a blasted earth? Who is implied in this ‘we’; which specific histories and living materialities are encircling it? What sort of voices arise when ‘we’ make ourselves known? How do we, as humans, commit ourselves to ongoing writings of more-than-human histories without claiming ownership of the stories?

No matter if we treat each other as industrial resources or as respected partners, we will always find ourselves in relationships: we are perpetually becoming, in and with a vast number of companion species, in never innocent movements between life and death. «To be one is always to become with many», as multispecies philosopher Donna Haraway reminds us.

The exhibition A New We experiments with the structuring of communities and forms of gatherings in a more-than-human field. The exhibition asks: Who is looking at whom in multispecies worlds? Through what kind of eyes, with what sort of bodies and with what manner of languages? How do we commit to partial, fragmented perspectives well knowing that in our eager to engage alterity, we might end up reproducing yet another image of Man, of ourselves? How do we engage in sustainable practices of knowledge productions dedicated not to objectifications of the Other, but to a profound caring for each other in the messy epistemological spaces of multispecies communities?

A New We does not attempt to (re)present things from the perspective of a detached ‘neutrality’. ‘We’ do not stand apart, there is no ‘outside’ to withdraw to. The exhibition relays stories upon stories, voices upon voices, worlds upon worlds in which life makes itself known while writing and rewriting (hi)stories. A New We insist on speculation, on staying with the trouble of particular, specific communities of unalike partners, together building worlds – however temporary, fragile and problematic these worlds turn out to be. A New We insist on contemplation, on the time it takes to get to know each other, to experience radical otherness and to slowly start to spawn the kind of sensitivities and empathies needed in order to create healing communities on a wounded earth.

The exhibition is co-curated with Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology (Dea Antonsen and Ida Bencke, Denmark).

Thanks to Danish Arts Council, Nordic Culture Point, Arts Council Norway and Canon.

More information: kunsthalltrondheim.no

A New We - Rachel Mayeri: Video still from Primate Cinema: Apes as Family, 2012, 22 minutes. Actor: Denise Pearlman. Two channel installation. Courtesy of the artist.
Rachel Mayeri: Video still from Primate Cinema: Apes as Family, 2012, 22 minutes. Actor: Denise Pearlman. Two channel installation. Courtesy of the artist.
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