March 5, 2020

Fabrica Mundi: Making, Unmaking, and Remaking Worlds

Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture

Maarten Vanden Eynde, Future Flora: Manono II, 2019. Printed circuit board (PCB) and seeds, 62.5 × 62.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo © Philippe De Gobert.

Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture presents its inaugural research symposium: "Fabrica Mundi: Making, Unmaking, and Remaking Worlds." This event invites artists and researchers to contribute to the development of Z33’s exhibition program, which explores social histories that have shaped today’s global order.

In the work of European Renaissance cartographers, the Latin phrase fabrica mundi denoted the “order” or “fabric” of the world. Today, this fabric is ruptured by forms of natural exploitation that are uprooting people from their homes and destroying their livelihoods. At the same time, the proliferation of borders is restricting the movement of displaced persons but enabling the export of natural resources to wealthier regions. The symposium "Fabrica Mundi: Making, Unmaking, and Remaking Worlds" invites artists and researchers to reflect on the effects of uneven globalization and to imagine equitable ways of world-making. How can artistic research help us to find alternative ways of living and cooperating?

This symposium brings together artists and researchers whose work examines the persistent continuities between colonial history and present forms of exploitation. As keynote speaker Mimi Sheller points out, ideas of Western modernity are premised on the “physical incorporation but symbolic exclusion” of postcolonial states from “the West.” In tracing the migrations of people, materials, and ideas around the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic, the invited artists are drawing attention to the complex entanglements between Europe and the worlds of Africa and the Americas. By establishing international artistic alliances, they forge new geographies of collaboration.

A keynote lecture by Mimi Sheller (Drexel University, Philadelphia) will draw from her forthcoming book, Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2020), which reflects on mobility injustice in Haiti and other Caribbean localities in order to propose an alternative, archipelagic theory of mobilities.

A series of panel discussions will explore artists’ strategies for addressing the making, unmaking, and remaking of worlds.

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Lorenzo Pezzani, and The Otolith Group will share their artistic projects on the governance of postcolonial borders and citizenship by European states.

Manuel Mathieu, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and The Living and the Dead Ensemble will discuss how their artistic methods respond to the violent transformations of the natural and political landscapes of Haiti and Puerto Rico.

Marjolijn Dijkman, Femke Herregraven, and Georges Senga will present the artistic research project On-Trade-Off and reflect on the future ecological and economic implications of the extraction and processing of lithium in DR Congo.

A polyphonic lecture by The Living and the Dead Ensemble will close the symposium.

Institutional roundtable
A roundtable will explore how institutional processes can be designed to engage artists and researchers in long-term interdisciplinary investigations of social histories and developments. Roundtable participants: Emanuele Guidi (ar/ge kunst, Bolzano), Hicham Khalidi (Van Eyck, Maastricht), Anastasia Kubrak (Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam), Meriç Öner (SALT, Istanbul), Markus Reymann (TBA21–Academy), Anna Santomauro (Arts Catalyst, London), and Vivian Ziherl (Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam).

The symposium "Fabrica Mundi: Making, Unmaking, and Remaking Worlds" coincides with Art Brussels, which runs from April 23 to 26, 2020. On March 14, 2020 Z33 reopens its renovated and expanded galleries with three new exhibitions that will be on view during the symposium: The Time of Work, The Work of Time, and Birds of a Feather (Currents #7). On April 25–26, 2020 Z33 also presents the workshop Acquisition/Körperschaft – William Forsythe led by Tilman O’Donnell.

Curated by Tim Roerig, Silvia Franceschini, and Ils Huygens.

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