Online discussion

Com- as in Compost


Kathrin Böhm, Compost, poster and tape installed at The Showroom, July 2021, re-using material from Böhm’s exhibition andmillionsandmillions at The Showroom in Bonner Road, in 2001. Photo: Dan Weill Photography

‘So when I say ‘compost’, it’s more than a joke, though it is also a joke. It’s a refusal to be quite so serious about categories, and to let categories sit a bit lightly with the complexities of the world.’
Donna Haraway, in an interview with Sarah Franklin, Sage Journal, 2017

Join us for this collaborative online event, Com- as in Compost, a public conversation and knowledge-sharing session to reflect on relative modes of composting and, in the words of Donna Haraway, ‘letting categories sit lightly’ between interdependent artistic, curatorial and institutional perspectives, held in the context of Compost. Kathrin Böhm: Turning the Heap.

This is the final event in phase one of Compost, which will then be closed to the public throughout August, before reopening for a second phase between Wednesday 15 September - Saturday 16 October; opening up a space to start drawing out fertiliser for future use, whilst dissolving the materiality of the work through swapping, buying, giving, taking and trading; enacting possibilities of queering economies discussed in Icebergian Economies of Contemporary Art (The Centre for Plausible Economics).

The talk recognises a growing number of cultural practitioners referring to ‘composting’ as a possible and necessary process, and emphasises a ubiquitous and trans-local commitment to resisting a return to ‘business as usual’.

Throughout April-May 2021 curators Ana Kovačić and Lea Vene convened a collaborative programme of performances, screenings and workshops at Galerija Nova, Zagreb titled We are the compost. Invited artist Ana Kuzmanić’s research started from the meaning of the word ‘compost’. The prefix ‘com-’ means ‘with’, while the prefix ‘post-’ has a dual connotation of ‘what is coming to an end’ and ‘what is yet to come’. Ana, Lea and Ana will discuss the praxis informing their exhibition-making as-process; reflecting on new work and conversations that unfolded in Zagreb in May.

Galerija Nova is a non-profit city gallery founded in 1975 by artists Ljerka Šibenik and Mladen Galić. Since 2003 it has been programmed by curatorial collective What, How and for Whom/WHW, with an emphasis on researching, documenting, and producing knowledge of modern and contemporary visual art practice and its expanded field.

Reciprocally Kathrin Böhm, Lily Hall and Elvira Dyangani Ose will consider intersecting instances from the past six weeks of composting at The Showroom, where turning the heap has been used as a method for hybrid, serendipitous, invited and chance encounters that have been unfolding around Compost daily, both in the space and online.

Ana Kuzmanić, We are the compost, installation view, Galerija Nova, May 2021. Photo: Marina Paulenka
Ana Kuzmanić, We are the compost, installation view, Galerija Nova, May 2021. Photo: Marina Paulenka


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