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Research project ‘Naming, possessing Critique of taxonomic practice’ by Agustín Ortiz Herrera, Barcelona Producció 2019–2020

Photo: Agustín Ortiz Herrera

Naming nature and taxonomizing it effectively was a priority for the emerging modern science emanating from the Age of Enlightenment. In its global epistemological conception, plant species from colonial explorations were catalogued in honour of white men of Western culture. At the same time, the cultivation of many of these plants was introduced into the streets and gardens of European cities, while the first botanical institutions were created.

As part of Agustín Ortiz Herrera's project ‘Naming, possessing Critique of taxonomic practice’, awarded the research grant Barcelona Producció 2019-2020 from La Capella (and one of the three projects mentored by Latitudes), and organised in collaboration with Hangar's Fictions of Dis-order program, Ortiz Herrera presents a series of guided tours and reading sessions where queer strategies will be questioning the narratives agreed upon by the modern scientific construct, introducing a decolonial narrative, and thus unveiling the secrets of plant species such as Sparrmannia, Washingtonia or Tulbaghia.


‘The colonial garden. Deconstructing the narratives of modern taxonomy’

Activity: Urban Route around the streets of Poblenou
Date: Friday 23 October 2020, 6–7:30 pm
Ortiz Herrera invites us to join him on a tour that aims to bring to light forgotten episodes in the development of botanical knowledge during the modern project while experimenting with queer/cuir confrontation strategies.
Meeting place to be confirmed. Participants will be notified.
Capacity: 20 people. 
Booking essential: [email protected]

Activity: Guided tour of the Barcelona Botanical Gardens
Date: Saturday 24 October 2020,11.30–13:30 am
During this second dérive, historical events will be explained using a methodology of situated knowledge that exposes the scale of the strategy of the cabinet of curiosities in botanical gardens.
Meeting place to be confirmed. Participants will be notified.
Capacity: 20 people. 
Booking essential: [email protected]

Activity: Modern Nature: a tribute to Derek Jarman
Date: Thursday 5 November 2020, 6–8 pm
Location: Hangar (Sala Ricson)
Reading group and discussion around Derek Jarman’s book Modern Nature. We will also be talking about Jarman’s film The Garden (1990) and his design for his garden at Prospect Cottage in the south-east of England.
Capacity: 40 people. 
Booking essential: https://forms.gle/4MQQXy72SwBxpV6V7
Organised by Hangar. With the support of Caja Negra Editorial.

Agustín Ortiz Herrera (Barcelona, 1970) works between moving image and performance. He studied Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona (1998), film-making in New York (2003) and obtained an MA in Fine Arts at the Konstfack College of Arts, Stockholm (2016). Recent exhibitions include Oblivion at K.R.O.P.P., Uppsala Konsert & Kongress, Uppsala (2019), Konst tar plats at Österbybruk, Sweden (2018), Potenciación a largo plazo at Paratext 24, Hangar, Barcelona (2017) and El umbral de primavera, Madrid (2018). He is currently resident at Hangar – Visual Arts Production and Research Centre in Barcelona.

Co-produced in the context of 
the “Fictions of Dis-order” programme of Hangar's  Research and Transfer of Knowledges activities.


Agustín Ortiz Herrera, Laboratori de Natura, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, Video Still, 2020.


Agustín Ortiz Herrera
To Name, To Own. Critique of Taxonomic Practice
Research Project
Barcelona Producció 2019–2020

Download this text as a pdf

Agustín Ortiz Herrera’s research project To Name, To Own. Critique of Taxonomic Practice focuses on taxonomy and the modern classification system for natural species developed by Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778). Linnaeus’s most notable contribution to science was his invention of a system of binomial nomenclature for naming organisms. For example, the two-term name Homo sapiens describes the only living species of the genus Homo: humans. This convention became universally accepted and the nested hierarchy became quickly consolidated as the dominant cognitive basis of the Western worldview of nature.1 Linnaeus’s 1735 volume Systema Naturae not only classified the natural world, it also gendered it and thereby conditioned an understanding of natural history as a highly patriarchal structure. This condition has transcended science and come to dominate other fields of culture and knowledge.2

Ortiz has carried out his research in botanical collections, academic centres, and libraries specialising in Linnaeus’s scientific work located in Uppsala, Sweden (where Linnaeus ultimately became rector of the city’s university) and London (where the world’s oldest active biological society, The Linnean Society of London, was established in 1788).3 Honouring the Society’s motto “Naturae Discere Mores” (To Learn the Ways of Nature), Ortiz furthermore connects Linnaeus’s legacy with two key nodes of research in Spain: the Gabinet Salvador at the Botanical Institute of Barcelona and the former Museum of Zoology in Barcelona’s Ciutadella Park.4 In doing so he aims to bring taxonomic paradigms into the present and to critique them against recent and emerging post-human, queer, feminist and decolonial theories.5

Taking up Teresa Castro’s call for “queering nature” and “queering botanics”, Ortiz’s research refuses the anthropocentric and dualistic conception that has separated humans from non-humans in order to go beyond the constraints of Western exceptionalism and its colonising grip.6 Castro has identified a “plant turn” in current fields of knowledge and creation, where philosophers including Emanuele Coccia are inviting us to think about and with vegetation or fungi and to consider herbivorous or fungal relations and non-hierarchical modes of being. Such an approach chimes with the Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s call for “decolonising thought” and to contest the hierarchical relationships between “our” thoughts and those of others.7

Another important point of Ortiz’s research has been foregrounding the scientific work of Lynn Margulis (1938–2011), the unorthodox scientist whose theories around evolution and symbiosis were often mocked and ignored by the male establishment for appearing to contradict Charles Darwin’s dogma of natural selection. As a proponent of the endosymbiotic theory, Margulis posited that simple life forms merged, forming cell organelles, like mitochondria. Life, she believed, is a symbiotic and cooperative union that allows those who associate to succeed, a theory that later has been widely accepted and substantiated.

Ortiz’s research introduces queer epistemologies through a series of gatherings, an urban walking tour and a collective reading. The first will be a two-hour guided tour around Poblenou to identify and discuss plant taxonomy and its colonial provenance. A similar tour will take place the following day in Montjuïc’s Botanical Garden, where Agustín will lead a discussion within the framework of a man-made “natural” environment.

A third activity, developed in collaboration with Hangar – Visual Arts Production and Research Centre in Barcelona as part of its Fictions of Dis-order programme, will consist of a collective reading of Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature. Published in 1991, this biography is a diary of the British film-maker, artist and activist on his late years at Prospect Cottage, on the arid Kent coast in south-east England. Jarman purchased this fisherman’s house in Dungeness in 1986 shortly after being diagnosed as HIV positive, with the aim of withdrawing in the years before his death (in 1994). The now-iconic black timber cottage with yolk yellow window frames is overlooked by the imposing Dungeness nuclear power station and surrounded by a vast shingle beach and a noteworthy garden, the boundaries of which he described as the horizon.

— Latitudes


1 Linnaeus was the first to use it consistently throughout his book, although the system now known as binomial nomenclature was partially developed by the brothers Gaspard and Johann Bauhin 200 years earlier.

2 Linnaeus published 12 editions of Systema Naturae during his lifetime. The 10th edition from 1758 is considered the starting point of zoological nomenclature.

3 Sir James Edward Smith purchased Linnaeus’s botanical, zoological and library collections for 1,000 guineas to found The Linnean Society of London in 1788. It was at a meeting of the Society in 1858 that papers from Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace outlining the theory of evolution by natural selection were first presented. https://www.linnean.org

4 The Salvador family were a dynasty of apothecaries and naturalists from Barcelona that between the 17th and 19th centuries collected over 14,000 specimens. The Gabinet Salvador is the most important example of a Cabinet of Curiosities or wunderkammer in the country, a presentation format which predates the invention of the modern museum and the separation between the sciences and the humanities. https://museuciencies.cat/es/area-cientifica/colecciones/coleccion-salvador/

5 With its origins in the 17th century, the Gabinet Salvador includes the oldest known herbarium in Spain, as well as books, documents, collections of molluscs, fossils, and stuffed animals. The Zoology Museum of Barcelona was located in the Modernista building known as the ‘Castle of the Three Dragons’ between 1920 and 2010 when it was relocated and changed its name to Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona, aka the ‘Museu Blau’).

6 Teresa Castro, The Mediated Plant, e-flux Journal #102, September 2019, https://www.e-flux.com/journal/102/283819/the-mediated-plant/

7 Emanuele Coccia, The Life of Plants: A Metaphysics of Mixture, Polity Press, 2018.

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Latitudes's Mariana Cánepa Luna concludes her role as Secretary of the Board of Hangar


Hangar Centre de Producció i Recerca d'Arts Visuals, Barcelona

Between 2015 and 2019, Mariana Cánepa Luna of Latitudes has served as Secretary and Board member of the Fundació Privada AAVC, the entity governing Hangar Centre de Producció i Recerca d'Arts Visuals in Barcelona

The members of HANGAR’s Board represent a range of professionals from the fields of contemporary visual arts and research and serve for periods of 4 years. The board meets twice a year in ordinary sessions and in extraordinary circumstances whenever necessary. An Executive Committee meets on a monthly basis. The members of the Board do not receive any remuneration for the performance of their duties.

Besides the responsibility of overseeing the governance of the institution, during these past four years, the (initially 17 and in the last year 9) members have been responsible for the renewing two terms of the Programme Committee and in 2017 resolving the open call for a director position, selecting Lluís Nacenta as the new head of the institution (2018–22). 

In early 2019, the board decided to exceptionally extended its mandate another year and met on a monthly basis in order to define the election process for the new board starting February 2020An initial pool of twenty-eight candidates (artists and art professionals) was put forward for consideration to the Plataforma Assambleària d'Artistes de Catalunya (PAAC) and in their December 2019 assembly, the members voted for nine candidates following criteria of parity and a majority of artists. 

The newly elected board for the 2020–2024 term is: Pilar Bonet, Fito Conesa, Jordi Ferreiro, Dora García, Ingrid Guardiola, Hiuwai Chu, Mafe Moscoso, Laura Llevadot and Anna Pahissa.



Kudos to each of the board colleagues for their strong sense of fellowship throughout these past four years: president Martí Anson; vice-presidents Josep Manuel Berenguer, Álex Nogueras, Sonia Fernández Pan; members Pau Alsina, Mar Arza, Roger Bernat, Luz Broto, Jorge Luis Marzo, Martina Millà, Julia Montilla, Quim Packard, Joan Maria Soler, Alicia Vela, Marc Vives, Rubèn Verdú. Extended thanks to the legal advisors of the foundation, Jaume and Guillem Nadal, and of course to the two directors of the Foundation, Tere Badia (2009–17) and Lluís Nacenta (since 2018). 

Between June 2010 and December 2013, and together with Max Andrews, Latitudes was part of the Programme Committee alongside artists Dora García, Jordi Mitjà and Joan Vilapuig and the curator Alex Mitrani. This group was responsible for selecting applicants via open calls for production grants and residencies abroad, as well as in the selection of foreign artists to come to Hangar, and ultimately, followed up the work during their long or short-term residencies.









RELATED CONTENT

  • Visita de la Comisión de Programas de Hangar a los estudios de los artistas residentes 24 April 2013
  • Performance 'The Museum of Incest' de Simon Fujiwara, 19 Septiembre, 19h en Hangar 15 Septiembre 2009

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Visita de la Comisión de Programas de Hangar a los estudios de los artistas residentes, 24 Abril 2013, Barcelona

Cartel "Salvem Can Felipa" de Quim Packard colgado en la zona común de los estudios en Hangar.

El pasado 24 de Abril, cinco miembros de la Comisión de Programas 2010–2013 de Hangar (formado por Àlex Mitrani, Joan Vilapuig, Jordi Mitjà, Dora Garcia (ausente) y Max Andrews y Mariana Cánepa Luna de Latitudes) realizó una de las visitas periódicas a los artistas residentes en el centro de Poble Nou, en este caso a Llobet y Pons; Quim Packard; Aggtelek; Rasmus Nilausen; Marla Jacarilla, Raúl Nieves (blablabLAB) y Mireia c. Saladrigues

A continuación un breve sumario que recoge los tuits que publicamos durante la visita (véase https://twitter.com/lttds).

Llobet y Pons (dúo formado por Jasmina Llobet y Luis Fernandez Pons) acaban de participar en la Setouchi Triennale 2013, Japón, donde han presentado la pieza "No one wins – Minibasket". Asímismo hemos visto sus últimas investigaciones con piezas realizadas con pasta dental endurecida; al pulido de diamantes que realizaron durante una residencia en Lokaal01, Amberes, o sobre la reconversión de materiales, como es el caso de 'Ex-Fork' presentada recientemente en Can Felipa.



Quim Packard actualmente está desarrollando "Historias de amor y odio", un "relato en formado dibujo que se emite diariamente, a partir del 15 de abril, vía redes sociales (véase tumblr aquí) y que finaliza en un concierto / performance en la Capsa Jove de Tarragona, el día 24 de abril a las 19h; en motivo de la presentación de la publicación 2012 del CA Tarragona Centro de Arte" (web de Hangar).


 

En el estudio del dúo Aggtelek (Gema Perales and Xandro Valles) vimos la serie de pinturas realizadas a partir de collages que envían a una de las fábricas de producción (prácticamente mecánica) de pintura en China para su realización. Éstas han sido recientemente presentadas en la Galería José Robles en Madrid, y próximamente se presentará un conjunto similar en 18a edición de la feria Liste en Basilea con la galería Exile de Berlin.



Marla Jacarilla fue ganadora de la reciente convocatoria BCN Producció 2013 con el proyecto "Acotaciones tras la cuarta pared" que inaugurará el próximo 15 de Mayo en el Espai Cub de La Capella en Barcelona. "'Acotaciones tras la cuarta pared' es un drama en cuatro actos cuyo tono oscila entre lo trágico, cómico, fársico y metalingüístico. Una historia en la que un presunto demiurgo conversa con personajes existentes que pertenecen a otras obras teatrales y que se han trasladado al momento actual" (web de La Capella).




En el 2012 Rasmus Nilausen expuso 'Sisyphus, rhopography and a headless chicken' (ver video) en el espacio de La Capella (como ganador de la convocatoria BCN Producció 2012), Barcelona y en el 2013 tuvo la exposición 'Still' en la nueva galería madrileña García Galería.



Raúl Nieves del dúo blablabLAB nos presentó su trabajo con impresoras 3D y herramientas de código libre que realiza a través de talleres programados periódicamente desde Hangar.

La entrevista con Mireia c. Saladrigues tuvo lugar via skype ya que se encuentra preparando 'No tocar, por favor', una exposición colectiva en el ARTIUM de Vitoria comisariada por Jorge Luis Marzo (blog del proyecto aquí) que inaugura en un par de semanas en Vitoria.


All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
 

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Performance 'The Museum of Incest' de Simon Fujiwara, sábado 19 Septiembre a las 19h en Hangar, Barcelona


19 de septiembre 2009, 19h
Hangar, Barcelona 
La performance será en inglés con subtítulos en castellano.Entrada gratuita

Vena (por la) anuncia su primer evento de la temporada: la performance 'The Museum of Incest: A Guided Tour' (El Museo del Incesto: una visita guiada) del artista británico afincado en Berlin/Londres Simon Fujiwara. El evento está organizado por Vena (por la) en colaboración con Hangar en el contexto de 'Hangar Obert'.

Simon Fujiwara durante su performance presentada el 14 mayo 2009 durante la inauguración de la exposición ‘Provenances’ en Umberto di Marino, Napoli, comisariada  Latitudes. Foto: Danilo Donzelli.

'The Museum of Incest' (El Museo del Incesto) es un proyecto que se manifiesta en tres partes: como una instalación, una performance-lecture (véanse imágenes arriba) y como publicación. La performance consiste en un tour a través del edificio de un museo ficticio que representa la historia alternativa a los orígenes del hombre a través de prácticas incestuosas. El tour se acompaña de diapositivas, un mural y artefactos provenientes de los yacimientos arqueológicos de la Garganta de Olduvai en Tanzania, conocida también como 'cuna de la humanidad' por descubrise allí restos de los primeros homínidos.

Presentación del ‘Museum of Incest’ de Simon Fujiwara dentro de la exposición ‘Provenances’ en Umberto di Marino, Napoli, comisariada  Latitudes. Fotos: Danilo Donzelli.



En ocasión de la exposición 'Provenances' en Nápoles, Latitudes editó la publicación 'The Museum of Incest. A Guided Tour' publicada por Archive Books (Turin/Berlin) (imágenes a continuación), que se podrá adquirir por 6 Euros una vez finalizada la performance.

'The Museum of Incest. A Guided Tour' publicada por Archive Books. Fotos: Latitudes.

Simon Fujiwara (1982, Londres, Inglaterra. Vive en Berlin y Londres). Recientemente ha sido artista en residencia del MAK Center for Art & Architecture, Schindler House, Los Angeles (2008–9) y ha participado en 'Office of Real Time Activity', Royal College of Art, Londres (Marzo 2009); 'Provenances', Umberto di Marino, Nápoles (comisariada por Latitudes - imágenes aquí) (Mayo–Septiembre 2009) y 'The Collectors', Danish and Nordic Pavilions, 53rd Biennale di Venezia. Próximamente presentará el 'The Museum of Incest' en Frieze Art Fair (sección Frame), Londres, con Galerie Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt.

A continuación imágenes de la performance en Hangar:



+ info:

– Texto "Simon Fujiwara_ES.pdf" en el archivo de textos de Latitudes (pdfs en Español e Inglés)
Artículo sobre 'Provenances', 3 Junio, La Repubblica (italiano)
Entrevista que se ha publicado en la revista italiana Kult Magazine de Septiembre, realizada por Daniele Perra (pdf italiano)
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