Uneven Bodies: A reader, Ruth Buchanan, Aileen Burns & Johan Lundh, Hanahiva Rose (Eds.)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16th, 2021
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In the exhibition “The scene in which I find myself / Or, where does my body belong” Ruth Buchanan presented 50 years of collecting at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Aotearoa New Zealand. This show had one core question: where is power centered? Through asking this question Buchanan and the institution have encountered celebratory moments of risk and experimentation and at the same time come face-to-face with the ways in which individual perspectives are encoded into institutions, and society at large, to form what is recognised as important and valuable. The project has made visible what Audre Lorde describes as the problem of the “mythic norm”. The symposium, “Uneven Bodies” acted on the imbalances exposed in the exhibition and invited discussions on considered approaches that weave in and out of the institution in order to re calibrate the ways in which we produce, engage with, and can shape collections. The content is gathered together in its entirety for this reader and acts as a transcript of a live event and holds onto that liveliness through the variety of forms and tones taken in each of the papers. At the same time, each contribution offers in its own way a template for how we can imagine collecting for the future; full of powerful languages we still need to learn how to speak, together.

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In a Manner of Reading Design (The Blind Spot). Katja Gretzinger (Hg.). Sternberg Press

Posted in design, writing on November 28th, 2012
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In a Manner of Reading Design (The Blind Spot) by Katja Gretzinger (Hg.)

What we perceive and think of as “true” is widely influenced by our knowledge—carrying with it implicit conceptions we are not aware of. Design, as a planned action, is necessarily both theory and practice. It brings together thinking and everyday objects and therefore ingrains itself in the contexts we are all living in. Yet, being largely unreflected on, design is likely to simply affirm societal norms instead of questioning them. If design aims at taking a critical stance, it needs to change its acquaintance with knowledge and develop its own discourse to understand the underlying conceptions that are at play.

The metaphor of the “blind spot” proposes the perspective of looking at what is implicit or unnoticed in our perception. By doing so, it seeks to open up common readings of what design is and can do. The montage of texts featured here includes diverse voices and readings, meant to create a space in which debate can unfold, a debate that considers the impossibility of an unbiased position and as such reminds us of our dependence on the other in any conception—and any project design might aspire to.

Contributions by Ruth Buchanan, Helmut Draxler, Faculty of Invisibility, Katja Gretzinger, Rama Hamadeh, Claudia Mareis, Doreen Mende.

D 18 €

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Lying Freely, Ruth Buchanan

Posted in art, magazines, music on August 15th, 2010
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Lying Freely, Ruth Buchanan

In her itinerant project ‘Lying Freely’, that has evolved in various locations since June 2009, Ruth Buchanan probes questions around the tension between private and public spheres by practicing a method that might be named after the project title, Lying Freely. This has involved Buchanan weaving stories by and about the public personas of three female writers Janet Frame, Virginia Woolf and Agatha Christie into her own speculative writings. The writing becomes scripts for manoeuvring through spaces of systemization and behavioural codification, such as an archive (The Hocken Collection), a hotel (Old Swan Hotel), a library (The British Library). These spaces, each associated with one of the authors, were reconfigured in a haptic choreography performed for and within different locations that hosted the project—a monumental house, a theatre, a gallery.

Co-published by Jan Van Eyck Academie Maastricht and Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht.

D 18€
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