Longitudes

In conversation with Lucas Ihlein for Artlink Magazine

The September issue of Artlink Magazine – a quarterly themed magazine covering contemporary art and ideas from Australia and the Asia-Pacific – includes a conversation we recently made with artist Lucas Ihlein. Ihlein's projects explore subjects as diverse as agriculture, gardening and social ecology, everyday life, avant-garde cinema history, fan culture, urban planning, communication and social relations.

The interview, titled "1:1 scale art and the Yeomans Project in North Queensland", is preceded with an intro contextualising our conversation and how we met:

Lucas Ihlein and Ian Milliss, "The Yeomans Project", field trip. Farmer Peter Clinch demonstrates the keyline irrigation channels at The Oaks Organics, Camden, NSW, 2014. Photo by Caren Florance.

We first met Lucas Ihlein in May 2014 at the recommendation of artist Nicholas Mangan. We had been invited to Melbourne to participate in Gertrude Contemporary’s Visiting Curator Program in partnership with Monash University of Art Design & Architecture, and had taken a few days out to visit the Biennale of Sydney and meet some Sydney-based artists. Nicholas was already familiar with our curatorial interests, stemming from ecology and site-specific practices; indeed, we’ve recently made an extended interview with him for the catalogue of his exhibition "Limits to Growth", so his matchmaking with Lucas was prescient. We talked for hours and have been corresponding ever since, with a view to collaborating further.

We were struck by the breadth and enthusiasm of Lucas’s practice and his voracious approach to the process of learning from the point of view of a novice. Where other people might pain over the policing of the roles of artist, curator or researcher, Lucas happily didn’t spend much time worrying about it. Accordingly, although it was the engagement with social and environmental ecology that initially piqued our interest, we soon realised that his was a collaborative practice that has embraced, for example, the re-enactment of “expanded cinema” works from the 1960s and 1970s (in the form of Teaching and Learning Cinema, run with Louise Curham) as well as a “blogging as art”, an approach that really chimed with our project for The Last Newspaper for which we had edited a weekly newspaper within an exhibition.

Indeed, a key impulse of our approach to the projects we have undertaken as Latitudes around art and ecology, in the broadest sense, has been to resist the narrow restraints of normative environmental-concern ecology, in part following Felix Guattari’s essay "The Three Ecologies" (2000), to encompass social and political relations, human subjectivity as well as historical research. In other words, thinking about a practice that does not necessarily give primacy to exhibition‑making as well as considering what an ecological art project might mean in terms of process and site, and thinking through what acting ecologically might entail in relation to acting curatorially, acting editorially, or acting historically, and so on.

Looking back on our projects in collaboration with the Royal Society of Arts “Arts & Ecology” programme—a public commission for London with artist Tue Greenfort (2005–8), our publication "Land Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook" (Royal Society of Arts/Arts Council England, 2006), and the symposium of “Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change”, 8th Sharjah Biennial (2007)—as well as the exhibition "Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities", Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2008), they now seem to belong to a very specific time when green issues gained wider traction. One might crudely say this began with the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change in 2006 and effectively ended, or was overshadowed, by the 2008 financial crisis and its grim legacies.

We begin this interview at a moment when we’re revisiting some of the concerns left in the wake of such projects from the near past while preparing a group exhibition for CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux in 2017 around the carbon cycle and narratives of raw materials. At the time of writing Lucas has just returned from Guangzhou, where he has been exploring the geographical and social dimensions of sea level rise in the Pearl River Delta.


Continue reading... 

Lucas Ihlein is an Australia Council for the Arts Fellow in Emerging and Experimental Arts. He is currently showing alongside Trevor Yeung (Hong Kong) in Sea Pearl White Cloud 海珠白雲 at 4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art until 24 September 2016. Ihlein’s collaborative project Sugar vs the Reef will culminate in an exhibition at Artspace Mackay, Queensland, in mid-2018. 


 RELATED CONTENT:

Longitudes cuts across Latitudes’s projects and research with news, updates, and reportage.

Latitudes | www.LTTDS.org (except when otherwise noted).

Latitudes 2006–2019

Previous posts

Nov 2019 (4)
Oct 2019 (2)
Sep 2019 (6)
Aug 2019 (5)
Jul 2019 (1)
Jun 2019 (2)
May 2019 (3)
Apr 2019 (1)
Mar 2019 (3)
Feb 2019 (1)
Jan 2019 (3)
Dec 2018 (5)
Nov 2018 (3)
Oct 2018 (5)
Sep 2018 (7)
Aug 2018 (5)
Jul 2018 (2)
Jun 2018 (2)
May 2018 (3)
Apr 2018 (3)
Mar 2018 (2)
Feb 2018 (4)
Jan 2018 (3)
Dec 2017 (3)
Nov 2017 (3)
Oct 2017 (4)
Sep 2017 (3)
Aug 2017 (2)
Jul 2017 (2)
Jun 2017 (2)
May 2017 (2)
Apr 2017 (3)
Mar 2017 (3)
Feb 2017 (3)
Jan 2017 (2)
Dec 2016 (2)
Nov 2016 (3)
Oct 2016 (3)
Sep 2016 (2)
Aug 2016 (6)
Jul 2016 (2)
Jun 2016 (3)
May 2016 (5)
Apr 2016 (2)
Mar 2016 (2)
Feb 2016 (6)
Jan 2016 (3)
Dec 2015 (1)
Nov 2015 (1)
Oct 2015 (3)
Sep 2015 (1)
Aug 2015 (4)
Jul 2015 (5)
Jun 2015 (3)
May 2015 (3)
Apr 2015 (4)
Mar 2015 (2)
Feb 2015 (2)
Jan 2015 (2)
Dec 2014 (2)
Nov 2014 (3)
Oct 2014 (2)
Sep 2014 (2)
Aug 2014 (2)
Jun 2014 (3)
May 2014 (3)
Apr 2014 (2)
Mar 2014 (3)
Feb 2014 (1)
Jan 2014 (1)
Dec 2013 (4)
Nov 2013 (3)
Oct 2013 (6)
Sep 2013 (4)
Aug 2013 (2)
Jul 2013 (1)
Jun 2013 (3)
May 2013 (4)
Apr 2013 (2)
Mar 2013 (4)
Feb 2013 (2)
Jan 2013 (5)
Dec 2012 (5)
Nov 2012 (4)
Oct 2012 (4)
Sep 2012 (6)
Aug 2012 (4)
Jul 2012 (2)
Jun 2012 (3)
May 2012 (8)
Apr 2012 (7)
Mar 2012 (5)
Feb 2012 (5)
Jan 2012 (4)
Dec 2011 (4)
Nov 2011 (3)
Oct 2011 (6)
Sep 2011 (4)
Aug 2011 (7)
Jul 2011 (3)
Jun 2011 (8)
May 2011 (10)
Apr 2011 (6)
Mar 2011 (7)
Feb 2011 (9)
Jan 2011 (3)
Dec 2010 (8)
Nov 2010 (9)
Oct 2010 (6)
Sep 2010 (11)
Aug 2010 (6)
Jun 2010 (4)
May 2010 (5)
Apr 2010 (11)
Mar 2010 (4)
Feb 2010 (6)
Jan 2010 (7)
Dec 2009 (6)
Nov 2009 (3)
Oct 2009 (7)
Sep 2009 (11)
Aug 2009 (11)
Jul 2009 (2)
Jun 2009 (10)
May 2009 (7)
Apr 2009 (5)
Mar 2009 (6)
Feb 2009 (4)
Jan 2009 (5)
Dec 2008 (6)
Nov 2008 (5)
Oct 2008 (5)
Sep 2008 (5)
Aug 2008 (3)
Jul 2008 (3)
Jun 2008 (5)
May 2008 (4)
Apr 2008 (5)
Mar 2008 (3)
Feb 2008 (7)
Jan 2008 (5)
Dec 2007 (5)
Nov 2007 (5)
Oct 2007 (6)
Sep 2007 (8)
Aug 2007 (3)
Jul 2007 (5)
May 2007 (8)
Apr 2007 (8)
Mar 2007 (8)
Feb 2007 (3)
Jan 2007 (1)
Dec 2006 (8)
Nov 2006 (2)
Oct 2006 (6)
Sep 2006 (10)
Aug 2006 (1)
Founded in 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Latitudes is a curatorial office based in Barcelona, Spain, that works internationally across contemporary art practices.

More about us. Browse projects. Read Longitudes. Receive newsletters.

Contact us. 
All content
Latitudes
2005—2019