THE WORLDLY HOUSE
Walking through the Baroque Karlsaue park, alert visitors might find themselves gazing at a discreetly situated black wooden shack surrounded by water. Connected to the park by a small walkway straddling the lake, it might bring to mind Henry David Thoreau’s wooden hut as he meticulously described it in his seminal book Walden of 1854. It certainly has a dream-like, fairy-tale atmosphere, giving the impression of a self-built house in which to retreat for solitude and reflection.
However, it was in fact constructed in the 1950s with the purpose of housing the park’s black swans (Cygnus atratus). The birds are now gone, and their shack has been standing empty since the late 1970s, though it is not without use, since traces inside reveal the activity of another species introduced into Kassel’s urban wild life, the notorious raccoons. For dOCUMENTA (13), the former birdhouse hosts an archival project dedicated to “multispecies co-evolution” that will examine and perhaps help reshape links among living creatures, both human and non-human. Human beings and other organisms share the overwhelming majority of their genetic information, and that is just the beginning of their thick relationships. In other words, as dOCUMENTA (13) Honorary Advisory Committee member and renowned feminist theorist Donna Haraway has written in the introduction to her book When Species Meet (2008): “To be one is always to become with many.” Haraway’s book examines philosophical, historical, cultural, personal, technoscientific, and biological aspects of animal/human inter- and intra-action, and in recognition of her work and ideas, The Worldly House: An Archive Inspired by Donna Haraway’s Writings on Multispecies Co-Evolution, Compiled and Presented by Tue Greenfort offers visitors the opportunity to think through the philosopher’s writings and teachings. Taking the form of artists’ materials, texts, books, videos, and documentation of artworks and projects dealing with the relationship between human and non-human species, the archive is of great diversity, with an overall focus on the perception of life, worldli-ness, and the co-existence of human and other beings.
Tue Greenfort: The Worldly House. Ein Archiv inspiriert von Donna Haraways. Schriften über Multispezies-Koevolution, zusammengestellt und präsentiert von Tue Greenfort.
In Auftrag gegeben und produziert von der dOCUMENTA (13).
Zur Verfügung gestellt von Tue Greenfort und Donna Haraway.
Fotos: Nils Klinger
Tue Greenfort: The Worldly House. An Archive Inspired by Donna Haraway`s Writings on Multi-Species Co-Evolution Compiled and Presented by Tue Greenfort.
Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13).
Courtesy Tue Greenfort and Donna Haraway
Photos: Nils Klinger