"Mother's Nature" - exhibition & performances

July 14, 2023 | Cosmina Marcela OLTEAN ArtPage

The opening of the exhibition “Mother's Nature”, curated by Maya Økland & Cristina Bută, took place on July 13th at Sector 1 Gallery, Bucharest, along with a performance by Monica Winther. “Mother's Nature” is a group exhibition which "tackles instances of the notion of mother in various contexts and art practices. From a personal to a post-anthropocentric dimension, the exhibition traces the potential meaning of the notion of mother in various contemporary art practices", we learn from the curatorial team. The exhibition is ongoing until August 28th.
Photo credits - Sector 1 Gallery
<<In Norwegian, the word føde means both food and give birth. Nature is commonly referred to as Mother Earth, as she is portrayed in almost every culture: to the Aztecs, Earth was called Tonantzin - "our mother"; to the Incas, Earth was called Pachamama - "mother earth", the word pacha in Quechua also signifying "space-time" or "universe". The Chinese Earth goddess Hou Tu is similar to Gaia, the Greek goddess personifying the Earth. In other words, mother is simultaneously the symbol of our entire existence, and the everyday woman we all must relate to whether we like her, or not. She can be a he, she, them or they, biological, cultural, or spiritual. Absent, present, good, and bad. We dream of her unconditional love just as much as we find it hard to resist the desire to control her. Honored and blamed, the multitude of ambivalence in her relations holds no limits. She can destroy us and nurture us, all at the same time.

In her writings, philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers calls Gaia/Earth a devastating power that shifts our categories of thought. Mother Nature is not the constant giver promising us nourishment, or, in a paradoxical fashion, the land of resources our capitalist societies continue to exploit. The title of the exhibition references both Mother Nature beyond her romanticized personification, as well as the relations and non-relations that we have with our mothers and other maternal figures and constructs. Within a society that is still prejudist towards gender, race and sexuality, in which certain stories and histories are or remain silenced, ecologies of care appear. How do we negotiate the relationship between care and emancipation? How do we grow with the other? From queer and feminist perspectives, the artworks and performances of Norwegian and Romanian artists Cristina David, Jasmina Al-Qaisi, Kiyoshi Yamamoto, Monica Winther and Ștefania Crișan trace existential affection, power, anxiety and love while calling upon Mother.>> - excerpt from the curatorial text.

The exhibition program includes three performances throughout the month of July:
• July 13, Monica Winther - „Paction drawing"
• July 22, Kiyoshi Yamamoto - „It Takes No Compromise to Give People Their Rights"
• July 28, Ștefania Crișan - „Reverse the Entropy”

Project support 

The project is financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Program, having VISP – Produksjonsenhet for visuell kunst as project partner.

The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.

RO-CULTURE is implemented in Romania by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit. The Programme aims at strengthening social and economic development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. (www.ro-cultura.ro)

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