COMPOST: THE OPEN BIN (COMPOSTING KNOWLEDGE)


Collective-driven, process-based performative exhibitionary project COMPOST: THE OPEN BIN
11.03- 12.06 2022
@ OnCurating Project Space
Zurich, CH


For documenta fifteen (2022), Jakarta-based collective and lead artistic directors ruangrupa initiated an international collaborative network for alternative knowledge production and sharing named the “Composting Knowledge” network (Färgfabriken, GAP Tokyo, ICA Sofia, JJ and Donkey Mill Art Center, Knowbotiqs , Myvillages, YCAR Toronto). ruangrupa’s “Composting Knowledge” stands for an ongoing experiment to imagine alternative terrains for knowledge production and sharing, in collaboration with ruruHaus in Kassel and a wide range of institutions, initiatives, practices, collectives, and individuals around the world. The idea is to foster possible supporting systems for institutions to cooperate and engage in critical ways, by exploring questions and challenges from different perspectives, practices, traditions, and backgrounds.

Following the process-based and communal methodologies proposed by ruangrupa, we will gather our own “open bin” from 10 March (100 days before the start of documenta fifteen) at the OnCurating Project Space in Zurich. With our “COMPOST – the Open Bin”, various activities will come into contact, ideas will be displayed, discussed, and digested, a shared process will be activated, and a space of transition will emerge. We understand “Composting” not only as a natural process, a direct-contact transformation process of digestion/fermentation/composting, but also persist on composting as a cultural and political articulation, of ways self-sustaining, of reflecting upon epistemologies, creating new formations of joyful resistance.

This exhibitionary project – a sequential, choreographed series of interlocking events – will invite diverse artists and groups to come together with the intention of exploring different practices and sharing communal moments. The program will take place for 100 days, from 10 March to 16 June 2022, bringing artistic and curatorial practices from artists, as well as partners of the “Compost Network” of ruangrupa and other peers. The various formats – social in nature – will include screenings, dinners, roundtables, exhibitions, performances, and talks. It will be open and accessible in a hybrid format for its whole duration.

“Composting is growing. It’s a process that calls for a change in our understanding of the subject of knowledge, an uncontrolled mutation of ingredients, which transcend a cartesian or logical system in the production of experiences, and facts but instead, transform every material collected in fertile soil for our community. As the water is part of every living being and a primal, juicy engine for the rotting activity, so the compostable transformation is nourished by every idea, intervention, activity, and contribution by withdrawing from disciplines and one-sided knowledge and expertise forms. Each person is welcome to participate as a cultivator, contributing with awareness to a multi-ingredients compostable practice. The material for a florid mixture is brought from friends, those guests, one-time visitors, students, and researchers, from all corners of the globe, each one will be a grower and harvester of an abundant, yet non-definable knowledge pot. For the shared growth of yet unknown knowledgeable terrains we invite you to contribute to this compost pot.” –Giulia Rossini and Tyuki Imamura on behalf of Compost Network


Organised by: Ronald Kolb, Camille Regli, Dorothee Richter


Curatorial team:

Nadine Bajek, Chiara Borgonovo, Rosela del Bosque, Giulia Busetti, Valeria Brücker, Sophie Brunner, Marina Donina, Olena Iegorova, Erika Giulietti, Sofia Gkinko, Ronald Kolb, Anna Konstantinova, Ronny Koren, Camille Regli, Dorothee Richter, Alexandra Romy, Anita Rosenberger, Smadar Samson, Regina Tetens, Lotte van Ermengem, Anna Wälli



STORIES OF WATER 


‘stories of water’ is a collective project presenting a series of interventions ranging from video works and performance art to installations and seminars that consider the topic of water using different approaches. Over its four chapters, ‘stories of water’ explores the multifaceted formal qualities of water, the complex symbiotic entanglements in which humans and water coexist, as well as the politics of water in our current globalized reality.

Collective exhibition
CHAPTER 02:  SHAPES OF WATER
27.01 – 12.02 2023
@ OnCurating Project Space
Zurich, CH



Featuring works by Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado, Sara Bonaventura, Cristina Cabada, Matthias Moos, Giulia Spada.

Throughout this second chapter, include notions of fluidity, trans-corporeality and symbiosis, collective memory, and bodies of water. As stated by cultural theorist and writer Astrida Neimanis:

“We live at the site of exponential material meaning where embodiment meets water. Given the various interconnected and anthropogenically exacerbated water crises that our planet currently faces – from drought and freshwater shortage to wild weather, floods, and chronic contamination – this meaningful mattering of our bodies is also an urgent question of worldly survival. [...] I reimagine embodiment from the perspective of our bodies’ wet constitution, as inseparable from these pressing ecological questions.” (Bodies of Water, Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology, 2016).

The presented works outline the interconnected currents of water from a posthuman entangled view of the world–seen in the work of Sara Bonaventura–to soundscapes that archive the low tides, the extractive infrastructure, and the current state of the deltaic region of the Colorado River, crossing over the US and Mexico. Giulia Spada’s dance practice flows through the trans-corporeal, embodying the planes where human and watery flesh collides. Drifting more towards the materiality and physically of water, Cristina Cabada constructs 3D exoskeletons of the element of water through her hand-sewn silicon textiles; while Matthias Moos creates altered landscapes where the digital and natural intersect — examining how wave algorithms deceive our time and spatial awareness.

Curated by Nora Brown, Rosela del Bosque, Jana Kurth, Taylor Hubbard, and Margherita Martini.



STORIES OF WATER


‘stories of water’ is a collective project presenting a series of interventions ranging from video works and performance art to installations and seminars that consider the topic of water using different approaches. Over its four chapters, ‘stories of water’ explores the multifaceted formal qualities of water, the complex symbiotic entanglements in which humans and water coexist, as well as the politics of water in our current globalized reality.

Collective exhibition
CHAPTER 03: WATER AS DISPLACEMENT
24.02 – 12.03 2023
@ OnCurating Project Space 
Zurich, CH



Features work by Border Forensics, Antoine Félix Bücher, María José Crespo, Zoya Laktionova, Johanna Locher, Ornella Ostapenko, and UNITED for Intercultural Action.

Throughout this third chapter, we are looking into the politics of water, borders, expropriation, and self-governance.

Collectively, the works presented investigate the geopolitical complexities and their respective impacts on our oceans, rivers, and lands. The term ‘floating bodies’ coined by architect, researcher, and urban designer Adrian Lahoud conceptualizes and ties together issues that touch upon both the ecological and the political. Lahoud describes floating bodies as being related to the polluting atmospheric particles which flow from North to South, as well as the human beings which migrate from South to North - often having to cross large bodies of water in order to do so. The notion of ‘floating bodies’ is what connects the ecological and political predicaments in places such as the Rio Grande, the US-Mexico border, the Baltic Sea, the Libyan coast, the Azov Sea coast in Eastern Ukraine, and Antarctica.

The issues of deterritorialization and borders touch upon also manifest themselves in different ways in the works of all the artists participating in this chapter. María José Crespos’ video shows how avisadores warn migrants attempting to cross the US Mexico Border and approaching US Border Patrol, using flickering mirrors and blinding lights, whilst Johanna Locher’s video questions the significance of these same borders, while she sews together the hem of the ocean and the sand grains of the Baltic coastline.

Forced displacement, as shown in Ornella Ostapenko’s work, is a geopolitical issue not only affecting human life; in fact, it is a multi-species crisis and necropolitical implication within our fragile ecologies. Zoya Laktionova’s film displays how armed conflicts that surround us can result in our disengagement with the ecologies of these areas, as seen in the case of the city Mariupol on the Eastern Ukrainian coast. As Edmond Locard, criminologist and a key figure in Forensic Sciences, formulated “Every contact leaves a trace”. Border Forensics’s project outlines to what extent the sea’s geopower has overtaken a form of killing— operating without state actors directly touching migrant bodies. The List presented by UNITED for Intercultural Action traces archives related to the death of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants who have lost their lives making the journey within and outside of the European Union. Antoine Félix Bücher’s work on rainwater implies the energy and movement of the living— a particular natural event that may cease to occur due to the escalating effects of the climate crisis.

Curated by Elif Carrier, Anastasiia Biletska, Rosela del Bosque, Marina Donina, Katerina Leontidou and Anna Sorokovaya.


︎︎︎For this third chapter, I worked/invited María José Crespo (from Tijuana, based in Rotterdam, NL) who created an intervention of different elements found in archives and site visits in Texas, US. The presented works for this Chapter derive from her exhibition project titled “Flaws in Negotiation with Non-Cohesive Sand” presented during a residency program at Artspace in San Antonio, TX. Her works reference the US - Mexico border and how it operates and adapts through time, space, and materialities. María José presents a mural collaging maps, treaties, photographs, documents, and artistic research strategies to create an alternative narrative of border history around the Río Grande/Bravo. The video “Avisos flickering across environments” displays how Avisadores communicated with mirrors flickering a blinding flashlight, notifying the whereabouts of the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection). This work seeks to contrast the informal, local, and poetic gestures for communicating among Mexican communities whereas, on the US side of the border, the excessive surveillance embodies and establishes infrastructures along the territory.

María José Crespo completed her BA in Fine Art at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Tijuana and her MA in Fine Art at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. Her main research investigates territory, language, and body by questioning how she inhabits certain boundaries as a woman. She is interested in studying remains and traces that administrative powers leave behind in unclear territories.