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Environmental Thinking in Artistic and Curatorial Practices

Lecturer: Emanuele Guidi

The course is designed to introduce you to the latest theories and artistic practices surrounding the expanded notion of “environment” and environmental thought and to explore how it has transformed across time, as well as its reciprocity with fields like postcolonial theory, feminism, and institutional critique.

We will look into the “geological turn” that emerged from the theory of the Anthropocene and its critiques and then introduce more complex approaches to this umbrella term.
The course will unfold through various examples of curatorial and artistic work in order to situate the discussion at the intersection of environmental and cultural discourses and their terminologies: we will start with a critical reading of more canonical artistic movements widely known as Environmental/Land/Earth Art. We will then explore artistic experiences that arose during those same years, promoting more process-oriented, pedagogical and collective approaches (Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Gianfranco Baruchello, and Gordon Matta-Clark, among others). Finally, we will focus on present-day artistic practices that have critically expanded these ideas towards a more circular and “sustainable” way of thinking at the intersection between the natural and the built environment, sciences, economics, and art-making.

Emanuele Guidi is a writer, curator, and artistic director at ar/ge kunst, Kunstverein of Bolzano (Italy) where he carries out a program of productions exploring the mutual relationship between visual art and other disciplines such as publishing, design, architecture, live arts, and theory. Central to this research are positions that focus on the politics of display and exhibition-making as a practice for knowledge production and circulation (for more information: www.argekunst.it and hostileenvironments.eu).
Emanuele is a PhD candidate in Practice in Curating at the University of Reading and Zurich University of the Arts.