MULTISPECIES IMAGINARIES

THE ART OF LIVING IN A CONTINGENT, UNCERTAIN WORLD
CURATED BY CHRISTIAN ALONSO

03.02 - 30.04.22

The Art of Living in a Contingent, Uncertain World is a curatorial research project that examines the contribution of artistic practice to the multispecies imagination. The artists immerse themselves in the complex worlds of microorganisms, plants, animals, fungi, and techno-bodies, and build narratives that shape singularized and entangled experiences, traversed by questions of gender, race, and colonialism. Their situated methods of knowing and becoming with other beings allow us to understand how dense ecologies made of fleshiness, fluids, genetic materials, acids, spores, and microchips are produced.

 

The contingent encounters in which they engage help us in understanding that we affect and are affected by all kinds of agencies at all times and invite us to develop different modalities of trans-species hospitality and care. Their transcorporeal sensibility helps us comprehend that we are inscribed in interrelated patterns of living and dying, allows us to respond to the living conditions of an expanded we, and encourages us to cultivate a curiosity that becomes decisive for collective survival. Multispecies Imaginaries presents eight newly commissioned projects and four existing projects that arise from long- term research lines. The project as a whole is rooted in the territory of the Llobregat River Delta, a complex, fragile and severely degraded ecosystem, with which we propose to imagine relational, creative, and transformative – as well as materially interdependent and ethically responsible – ways of life.

Tue Greenfort, Horseshoe Crabs, 2013.

A video project whose starting point is the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus). This benthic arthropod has inhabited North America’s Atlantic coast and Southeast Asia for four hundred million years, during which time its morphology has remained unchanged, which is why it is considered a living fossil. The high concentration of bacteria to which it is exposed in its brackish marine environment has equipped it with a highly effective immune system. This species has become a key player in the pharmaceutical industry, as its blue blood contains an enzyme that induces very rapid coagulation and its use can detect the presence of infectious bacteria or endotoxins. It is therefore extracted from the crab to be used in the testing of pharmaceutical products before they are sold. Its blood is also used to produce vaccines, detecting if they are free of Escherichia coli and Salmonella. The reliability of the test method is such that the crab has become irreplaceable for pharmaceutical companies. The human dependence on this organism means that we can speak of a parasitic relationship on the part of humans, who are endangering a living fossil to prevent disease, keep infant mortality low and sustain the quality of life to which we are accustomed. Intensive fishing of this species is endangering another species, the red knot (Calidris canutus), because the crab eggs it feeds on in its migratory routes have drastically decreased in number

MULTISPECIES IMAGINARIES

The art of living in a contingent

uncertain world.

Multispecies Imaginaries: The Art of Living in a Contingent, Uncertain World is a curatorial research project that examines the contribution of artistic practice to the multispecies imagination. The artists immerse themselves in the complex worlds of microorganisms, plants, animals, fungi, and techno-bodies, and build narratives that shape singularized and entangled experiences, traversed by questions of gender, race, and colonialism.

GROUP EXHIBITION, . CURATED BY CHRISTIAN ALONSO.

From 3 February to 30 April, 2022 

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Multispecies Imaginaries

Photocredit: Edu Pedrocchi 

Image from LaCapella_ChristianAlonso_FullSala_3EN (1), page 2.png