The final session of Taming the Horror Vacui is a meta-session. It is more about the program than it is in it. Art historian and writer Piero Bisello’s lecture elaborates on his experience of documenting Haseeb Ahmed’s long-term involvement with Rib. Working as an editor of the namesake publication Taming the Horror Vacui, which has been regularly released through multiple issues as a compendium to the program, Bisello has been in charge of creating a generative archive of the events organized by Ahmed with Rib since February 2020. By exposing the process of documenting, Bisello forefronts the narratives that Taming the Horror Vacui has evolved for 16 months.
Bisello’s editorial model for the publication is borrowed from the book The Serving Library Annual (Munari Obvious Code). The project at Rib invited nine participants from a broad range of disciplines for “sessions” that consisted of walks, workshops, talks, and performances. By inviting more contributors to create “annotations” for the resulting content, Bisello further elaborated on the concept of the artist as aggregator and its theoretical underpinnings present in Ahmed’s practice and a specific focus of his work at Rib.
The lecture delves into the topic of documentation of artist-curated exhibitions and artist-run spaces by presenting five relevant case studies from art history and putting forward the concept of the artist as aggregator. Bisello asks the following question from the Philosophy of Art: Is the artist as a curator an artist whose medium of choice is the exhibition? Taming the Horror Vacui provides a compelling counterexample insofar as both Ahmed, as well as Rib as a hosting institution, have challenged the fixed exhibition form in favor of sustaining an experimental space for thinking together publicly, which can still be experienced formally. In this regard, the concept of the artist as aggregator finds a fruitful context along with the challenges it poses for the documentation of a project.
Paradoxically, the formalizations of exhibitions often foreclose the most compelling instances in creating artworks. As discussed by Maziar Afrassiabi, director of Rib, and invited participant for Session #9, art historian Prof. Barbara Baert, the wind and air are not merely a theme, but rather a medium in Ahmed’s practice and artists historically. For Rib as for Ahmed, how concepts and phenomena mediate and inform modes of production and exhibition as well as working are paramount and have been the main productive challenge throughout the program and for Bisello’s work as editor.
The installation at Rib is an experimental space and Bisello’s event will also be generative. Before the lecture, he will activate Ahmed’s wind tunnel at Rib with a series of experiments following the concept of the artist as aggregator. Objects accumulated over the last 16 months in the so-called Library of Winds, another key feature of the installation, along with artworks by invited artists will be tested in the wind tunnel. A series of images of these tests will later be annotated by external contributors in a dedicated publication.
Artworks to be tested in the wind tunnel:
Antonia P. Brown
Details online talk
10.06.2021 18:30-21:30 PM Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 884 6003 6386
Exploring the movement of wind and its historical connotations, notably linked to major belief systems, Haseeb Ahmed invites both Professor Barbara Baert and Leen Scholiers to lead Session #9 of his 1.5 year long program Taming the Horror Vacui, at Rib. In this dual session, we explore the deep historical associations that have aggregated around the most basic physiological function of breathing and its potentials.
This session will take place over 2 days. On the first day (17 May 2021), art historian Barbara Baert will speak about the origins of the wind and its association with conveying a vital principal in premodern and religious iconography and philosophical texts. Baert is both a professor at KU Leuven, and founder of the Iconology Research Group, an international and interdisciplinary platform for the study of the interpretation of images. During this talk, Baert will explore the history of the depiction of the wind in both art and religion, as it is related to creation myths and concepts of time.
On the second day (18 May 2021), Leen Scholiers, a tantric yoga teacher, will lead a workshop on “prana”, which in Sanskrit means breath, vital principle, and life force. Scholiers guides us through the movement of air through our bodies and its five vayus, sanskrit for winds, which can open people for emotional release, subtle sensations, and even mystical experiences.
To prepare for this workshop try to refrain from consuming alcohol, drugs or heavy meals before this session. Make sure you can lay down on your bed/sofa/yoga mat. Have pillows and blankets for temperature changes. Have a notebook for journaling and to write down emerging thoughts after the session.
The air has a fixed density, but its effects are experienced differently at various scales. After having explored the effects of wind on the urban plan of the city in Emiel Arendt’s Session #3, its effects on architecture and interior air conditions in James Beckett Session #6, we finally arrive at the scale of the body itself.
The wind is fickle. It is shaped by all of the natural and built structures around which it passes. Temperature shifts created massive columns of hot air that cascade into planetary weather patterns. It is always directional, however where is the origin of the wind— that which first set things in motion? As the wind passes the wind moves leaves, dust, and sways buildings alike. It animates that which might otherwise thought to be inanimate.
Details online workshop
Talk by Prof. Barbara Baert
17.05.2021, 18:30-21:00 CET, Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 824 7355 1463
Breathing Practice by Leen Scholiers
18.05.2021, 18:30-21:00, Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 822 8889 4604
Saadia Mirza engages with fields from landscape studies to the history of cartography, science and technology in her artistic practice. While trained as an architect her practice involves scientists and researchers to “un-blackbox” data sets that tell stories about war, conflict, and climate change using animation, sound spatialization, virtual reality, and cartography.
Currently, Mirza is working with data sets related to massive geological shifts in glaciers and ice shelves through the scientific method of “acoustic sensing”. By shifting the representation of natural bodies like glaciers from visual objects to seismic formations, Mirza describes the relationship between the weather and the terra firma as unresolved natural process, now accelerated by a relatively sudden shift in the Earth’s climate. Over the last year Haseeb Ahmed’s program Taming the Horror Vacui at Rib has read a broad range of scalar realities through the fluid medium of the air. Moving from how air has conditioned architecture, shaped urban plans, and modeled our forms of thought in art, history, and theory, with Mirza we will consider the complex and changing conditions of wind and weather modeled through image and sound over the expanse of geological eras.
Together with Mirza we will consider the largest temporal and physical scales that the Earth has to offer. In his Session #4 presentation, Olivier Chazot, prepared us by establishing the relationship of the flow of fluids and the flow of time as a phenomenological and technical framework. However, comprehending such enormity requires models to mediate and scale to that of an observer. In Session #2 Paolo Patelli’s presentation furnished the pleasures and perils of relying on models while Michiel Huijben’s workshop was an opportunity to consider abstraction through making. Using remote-sensing technologies as a prosthetic to experience realities far beyond the scale of the body Mirza processes the aesthetic implication for how they create knowledge in a world of incomplete information.
Details online lecture
Join the lecture
Meeting ID: 822 7119 4740
Rib is pleased to present an artist talk by Haseeb Ahmed; an occasion to delve into the vortex of his work and thought. With the intention of engaging deeper with artists’ practices, Rib invited Ahmed to conduct his project Taming the Horror Vacui from (January 2020—July 2021). Now one year into the program, Ahmed will present insights from the wide range of contributions and experiments that have come about both personally and through engagements with the various invited participants.
We live in the fluid medium of air; life as we know it exists only in the relatively thin membrane of the atmosphere. Ahmed elaborates on how the movement of air permeates our thoughts, our bodies, and our built environment. The notion of horror vacui was how Aristotle explained the way winds and water move—perpetually filling voids. Taming the Horror Vacui takes its name from a (1973) essay by German historian Ettingshausen who saw medieval Islamic art to be an attempt to ward off feared empty space—an instance of how these fluid realities infect our psyche. As the core of this 18-month process, Ahmed has constructed a wind tunnel at Rib to model the voids at the heart of every vortex and to observe those voids which are created by models. The wind tunnel’s intake of air from the city beyond Rib’s walls creates three distinct vortexes around which the installation is organized.
In 2008 Ahmed placed a sword in the MIT Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel to produce an infinite cut through the air, and since then he has worked with the wind—and sometimes against it—to produce art. In order to give form to that which is otherwise invisible, Ahmed works with practitioners from a variety of disciplines. To support this approach to transdisciplinary work, practitioners from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds have been invited to Rib to give site-specific talks as sessions.
Details online lecture
23.03.2021, 18:30–21:00 CET
Meeting ID: 875 5251 6603
Rib is pleased to present a talk by artist James Beckett, A Seedless Grape – Conditions for Air. This talk is part of Haseeb Ahmed’s Taming the Horror Vacui, a long-term project (January 2020–June 2021).
The notion of the Horror Vacui tells us that “nature abhors a vacuum” and explains that air moves to fill voids wherever they may exist. This may be so in open atmosphere but at ground-level many factors shape the movement of wind. Rib and Haseeb Ahmed invite artist James Beckett to walk us through his current research on the history and broader cultural implications of air conditioning. This research was sparked by the fact that his current studio is the first building to be truly air conditioned, when it was a printing house back in 1902.
In Session 3 Emiel Arendts showed us how the wind shapes and is shaped by the architecture of the city. For Session 6, Beckett will address air-conditioning as “artefactual event”—an ephemeral entity, which is manufactured, distributed then dispersed. Beckett’s practice explores such histories concerned with industrial development and the built environment. In the amassing of his own collections, and working with those of museums, Beckett activates objects in order to unpack their abstract and metaphysical potential, often employing the absurd and uncanny to form new perspectives on formative events.
This talk is site-specific to Haseeb Ahmed’s Taming the Horror Vacui program at Rib. Ahmed often works with the wind, and over the last few months he and Beckett have collaborated on a wind tunnel test of a failed invention from 1934, namely the ‘Coolrest’—“an air-conditioned tent that you can erect over your bed, in your own bed-room!” (brought to light by Salvatore Basile, in his book Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything). The wind tunnel has been created by Ahmed at Rib as an experimental set up to study how objects interact with the wind and how practitioners of various disciplines interact with one another.
James Beckett’s talk will be the subject of Issue #6 of the Taming the Horror Vacui publication edited by Piero Bisello.
Details online lecture
Meeting ID: 828 6871 6719
Rib is pleased to present a lecture by writer, editor, and curator Anja Isabel Schneider, Swell. This talk is part of Taming the Horror Vacui, a long-term project (January 2020–June 2021) at Rib, cultivating a deeper engagement with Ahmed’s practice.
Anja Isabel Schneider’s current research explores the interactions of art with science and psychoanalysis with a special interest in performativity and ecologies of resistance, the relationship between spatial practices and writing, text and physicality. Schneider links Allan Sekula’s “staging [of] the wind” to Haseeb Ahmed’s ongoing wind tunnel experiment at Rib, and to questions of scale, liminality and human agency they both address.
Swell takes up the dialogue between Ahmed and Schneider, initiated in Antwerp on the occasion of his solo exhibition Haseeb Ahmed – The Wind Egg at M HKA (2018). The lecture’s title [from the German word “schwellen”] references Walter Benjamin’s definition of a threshold [Schwelle], significant to articulating space and time present in the way both Sekula thinks of the port and Ahmed the wind tunnel.
In keeping the spirit of Sekula’s critical engagement with the port of Rotterdam, her lecture will address the wind as an animating agent in Allan Sekula’s final work Ship of Fools/The Dockers’ Museum (2010–2013) and with it the space of reflection where the artist situates his project: the interstitial space of the harbor. Its relationality to other ports, to other docks, makes it a space of potential linkage points.
In part, this lecture inscribes itself into the larger research project Art Against the Grain of “Collective Sisyphus”: The Case of Allan Sekula’s Ship of Fools / The Dockers’ Museum (2010–2013), jointly developed by M HKA and the Lieven Gevaert Centre at KU Leuven and UCLouvain, with professor Hilde Van Gelder as promotor, and supported by the Research Fund KU Leuven, the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO), M HKA and the Allan Sekula Studio.
The fourth session of Taming the Horror Vacui: Time for the Wind inaugurates the specially designed wind tunnel with a lecture and workshop by Prof. Olivier Chazot, Head of the Aeronautics and Aerospace Department at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics.
Wind tunnels are made to model natural phenomena but in order to do so, they create a condition that could exist only in an idealized nature: Laminar flow, or straight-moving air. Taming the Horror Vacui uses the wind tunnel to delve into the paradoxical nature of fluidity and our attempts to order it. By making the movements of fluid visible we can deepen our understanding of how the flow of fluids relate to the flow of time.
In addition to his research on how atmospheric conditions interact with vehicles at high-altitudes and hypersonic speeds, Chazot uses a philosophical approach based on phenomenology to consider the experiences scientific method cannot account for. His lecture will elaborate on the relationship between these two scientific and philosophical viewpoints while his workshop will invite the public to experiment with the wind tunnel and the movement of air and metaphors it contains.
16 September 2020, 18:00–21:00
Lecture by Prof. Olivier Chazot (von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics)
17 September 2020, 18:00–21:00
Workshop with Prof. Olivier Chazot
In keeping with regulations related to the pandemic, the lecture and workshop have limited capacity, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The public lecture will be streamed live over zoom for online viewing.
This third session entitled Wind in the City is a walk through Rotterdam. Led by Emiel Arends, a spatial advisor and urban planner of the City of Rotterdam, we will stop at selected built interventions and public artworks made with the hidden intention of shaping the invisible but very physical effects of the wind.
Duration: approx. 2 hours
Start: Wilheminapier, Landverhuizersplein 2-52, Rotterdam
Destination: Rotterdam Centraal Station
As Arends explains, in a modern city like Rotterdam buildings tend to be bigger, longer, and higher compared to classical European cities, central Amsterdam being a Dutch counter-example. An (unforeseen) effect of higher buildings is the effect it has on the wind in the city. If care is not taken, higher buildings can produce “urban wind canyons.” From the perspective of urban planning, certain locations in Rotterdam require alteration after construction to diminish unforeseen “wind nuisance” which can have dangerous effects on the ground-level of the city and cause debilitating psychological stress.
The existence of awkward canopies, oddly placed public artworks, and timid clusters of trees one sees around the city can be explained as measures to dampen these unforeseen winds. The possibilities of researching wind patterns has advanced in the last decade, increasing the ability to anticipate what wind conditions will emerge after a building is made. This leads to out of the box thinking from architects and urban planners who seek to design with the wind in mind. Both the ignorance and awareness of the effects of the wind in the public realm has led to remarkable interventions resulting in a city that is partly shaped by the wind.
We are happy to continue to explore and forge connections between Haseeb Ahmed's work and the city of Rotterdam. With the generous help and insights of Emiel Arends, we can better conceptualize and make these connections concrete. One of Ahmed’s fascinations is the transition from a landscape being shaped by the wind also known as Aeolian Landscapes to the wind being shaped by the landscape. One can only imagine the sudden transformation of Rotterdam into an intensely windy environment after the bombardments during WWII that destroyed the buildings which once blocked the wind.
Paradoxically, this was to the advantage of those millers left standing who could increase their production of flour which relied on windmills during a time of acute food shortages. A city rebuilt on the sudden emptiness of both the stomach and habitat was also deprived of the possibility of organic and slow growth known to the old city. The reconstruction took place with relative speed which perfectly fit the modern spirit and techniques of contemporary manufacturing that paradoxically were also innovated through the war. A vision of society with advancing technology and new visions of architecture emerged.
Art in public space played an important role in the post-war reconstruction of Rotterdam and helped to fuel the city’s renewed identity and outlook. As Arends will show, art in public space took some interesting and inadvertent turns. As building in open space led to unforeseen wind issues, public art became a handy way to mitigate “wind nuisance.” Looking at public art through the lens of wind, we can see that potentially every artwork in public space must have another hidden utility.
Rib is pleased to announce the second session of Taming the Horror Vacui: Modeling Tyrannies and Turbulences. Models require and facilitate abstract thinking and this brings them close to ideals, but can these ideals ever be fulfilled? How does the promise of perfection inherent in models, regulate our relationship to our gritty realities—from the scale our bodies to our cities?
Artist Haseeb Ahmed and Rib invites artist Michiel Huijben to give a public workshop on 30 March 2020 during which we will construct spatial models of a concept given by Huijben.
On 16 April 2020, Paolo Patelli, an artist, researcher and architect, responds to the question “What role do models play in constructing the experience of our material realities?” in an online talk.
These events are part of the 1.5-year-long program Taming the Horror Vacui which broadly takes up the role of the wind in our lives. Models of city masterplans and buildings are used in wind tunnels to anticipate how they will effect and be effected by the wind. However, architectural models are used to project into and determine the future or reconstruct distant pasts. How do models and wind tunnels both relate to a broader attempt to wrestle with uncertainty?
The traces of the interaction that happens between the invited participants, the neighbourhood, the public, and Ahmed are retained by this installation at Rib. The evolving installation acts as a pedestal to host this interaction with our invited participants and these key questions. The Library of the Winds is now erect as river reeds are animated by circulating winds who’s face, we can finally see under specific conditions constructed at Rib.
Schedule Session #2
Workshop by Michiel Huijben: 30 March 2020, 18:00-21:00
If you wish to participate, please RSVP to email@example.com.
Online talk by Paolo Patelli: 16 April 2020, 18:00-20:00
Join us on Zoom. https://zoom.us/j/508182437 ID: 508 182 437<>
As the first workshop at Rib or Taming the Horror Vacui is conducted by artist Michèle Matyn and convened by Haseeb Ahmed. We will start from the beginning: where does the wind come from?
Throughout history wind has been associated with vitality and the divine creation. In Genesis God first blew over the dark waters of the void to bring all into being. In Ancient Greece the Shrines of Oracles were built atop the vents releasing volcanic fumes. When inhaled the Oracle was granted the ability to see into the future. Michèle Matyn travelled the world searching for “Ademgaten”, or “breathing holes”, in preparation for her eponymous exhibition at MuHKA in 2017.
For the workshop at Rib we will seek out “Ademgaten” and find ways to read time in the sounds of the wind. Materials and methods will be provided by Matyn and Rib.
To participate in the workshops please reserve a place via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schedule Session #1
Thursday 6 February 2020
10:00-18:00 – Public laboratory – Ahmed constructing the installation
Friday 7 February 2020
10:00-18:00 – Public laboratory – Ahmed constructing the installation
Monday 10 February 2020
17:00-21:00 – Rib open
18:00-20:00 – Public Workshop
Tuesday 11 February 2020
17:00-21:00 – Rib open
18:00-20:00 – Public Lecture with Q&A
Materials, food and drinks will be provided by Rib. Prior to the workshop Ahmed will continue building and working on the installation.
Rib presents Taming the Horror Vacui—a 1,5-year-long program unfolding the practice of artist Haseeb Ahmed (US/BE) in public, who has worked for over ten years with and around the phenomenon of wind exploring many of its guises. The trajectory consists of an evolving installation in Rib, a publication, and a series of workshops, lectures, and excursions.
The program entangles Ahmed’s practice with Rib and its global and local environment in Rotterdam-Zuid through the phenomenon of the wind. Wind is treated as a material and conceptual force, as model, instrument, and framework of architectural, meteorological, technological, mythological, art-historical, socio-political, economic, and recreational imagination. This program convenes practitioners from a variety of disciplines to elaborate on each of these aspects.
With: Haseeb Ahmed, Michèle Matyn, Michiel Huijben, Paolo Patelli, Emiel Arends, Ralf Wetzel, Anja Isabel Schneider, Olivier Chazot, Leen Scholiers, Peutz Group, Barbara Baert, Piero Bisello, Modelvliegclub Europoort (MVE), Pieter Heremans, among others.
Taming the Horror Vacui is kindly supported by the municipality of Rotterdam, Mondriaan Fund, Creative Industries Fund NL, VSB Fonds and the experimenteerreglement kunstenaarshonorarium of the Mondriaan Fund.
Read more here.
Haseeb Ahmed is a research-based artist. Originally from the US, he now lives and works in Brussels. He produces objects, site-specific installations, films, and writes for various publications. Often working collaboratively, Ahmed integrates methodologies from the hard sciences into his art production. His recently completed Wind Egg Trilogy blends art and aeronautics, myth and technology, to create new narratives for the present. It was developed with Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) in Brussels for and was the subject of his first solo exhibition Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels who now represents him, his solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary art of Antwerp (BE), as well as the topic of his PhD in practice-based arts completed in 2018 as a collaboration between the VKI, University of Antwerp, Saint Lucas Antwerp School of Art and Design,and Zurich University of the Arts. Ahmed has been a lecturer at the latter two art universities as well as the Royal Academy of the Art in The Hague. His work with the wind and science began during his Masters from the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, completed in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ahmed has been a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (NL), the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting (US), a EU Commission STARTS Vertigo resident at the Brain and Emotion Laboratory at the University of Maastricht, La Becque Foundation among others. His work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (US), The Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art (SE), and De Appel in Amsterdam (NL).
Emiel Arends works as a senior advisor on urban affairs for the city of Rotterdam. He is the author of the new high-rise vision of Rotterdam’s cityscape and is involved in numerous Inner-city developments. Arends is also a lecturer in the department of water management at the Rotterdam University.
Barbara Baert (1967) is Professor in Medieval Art, Iconology and Historiography at the KU Leuven. Her research projects show a determined interdisciplinary dialogue within the humanities and can be regarded from three main angles: the methodological space between text and image, the impact of the sensorium in the visual arts, and finally critical reflection on the art historical discipline. Author of more than 80 articles, c. 100 chapters in books, 30 books and 16 edited volumes, Barbara Baert was honored with several awards, among which the most prestigious is the Francqui Prize for Human Sciences in 2016. In November 2017 she was knighted in recognition of her public service as Commandeur in the Belgian Order of Leopold. She was invited as a guest professor at numerous universities in Europe, Japan and the United States. Baert was Fellow at theInternationales Kolleg für Kulturforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) of the Weimar Bauhaus Universität (2015), at theIstituto di Studi Avanzati of the Università di Bologna (2018), at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2019), and at the Center of Excellence BildEvidenz of the Freie Universität Berlin (2020). She is a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium, and of the Academia Europaea. She is the founder and editor in chief of four academic series, amongst others, Studies in Iconology (Peeters Publishers). Her most recent books are Fragments (A celebratory glossary of her oeuvre) (Peeters: 2018), What about Enthusiasm (Peeters: 2019), Interruptions & Transitions. Collected Essays on the Senses in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture (Brill: 2019), About Sieves and Sieving. Motif, Symbol, Technique, Paradigm (De Gruyter: 2019), The Weeping Rock. Revisiting Niobe through Paragone, Pathosformel and Petrification (Studies in Iconology, 17), Leuven-Walpole, 2020, Signed PAN (Studies in Iconology, 18), Leuven-Walpole, 2020, and From Kairos to Occasio along Fortuna. Text / Image / Afterlife. On the Antique Critical Moment, a Grisaille in Mantua (School of Mantegna, 1495-1510) and The Fortunes of Aby Warburg (1866-1929), Brepols & Harvey Miller, 2021 (at press: ISBN: 978-1-912554-62-1); Looking Into the Rain. Magic-Moisture-Medium (De Gruyter: 2021) (at press).
Piero Bisello is the Editorial Director at Conceptual Fine Arts, an online art writing platform and gallery visiting program in Milan. He has a background in art history and analytic philosophy, with degrees from KU Leuven and Erasmus University Rotterdam. Among other topics, his editorial work has focused on artist publications and artist books. He has been based in Brussels since 2011.
Michiel Huijben is an artist departing from architecture and its objects to create texts, performance lectures and videos. Through these media he searches for ways to intervene in the seemingly rigid and unchangeable architecture of our immediate environment. He studied Fine Art at the St. Joost Academy in Breda (BFA) and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (MFA), where he finished in 2008. In 2013, he did a short track residency at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, followed by an MA in architectural history and theory at the Cass, London. Shortly afterwards, he started the publishing project Flat i. In recent years his work has been presented at, among others: UMPRUM, Prague; Kunsthalle Basel; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; die Angewandte, Vienna; De Appel, Amsterdam; W-O-L-K-E, Brussels; Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam; Min-, Rotterdam; Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp; Matt’s Gallery, London; and That Might Be Right, Brussels. He has lectured at several institutions and currently teaches artistic research and writing at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, where he lives and works.
Michèle Matyn lives and works in Antwerp. She has developed a multifaceted practice that incorporates photography, sculpture, installation and performance. Her work looks at the ways myths and folklore are created in societies, often through our perception of and interaction with nature. Matyn’s works often begin with a journey, often to locations unfamiliar to the artist and with little sign of human interference, encountering places and situations that might inspire belief in the supernatural and the unknown. Her works typically feel ‘homespun’ evoking esoteric culture and the anthropomorphic gaze onto the outer world. The crux of Matyn’s work lies in seeking the intersection where human projection onto the non-human meets the natural world with its own existence outside of human consciousness. Matyn’s exhibition Breathing holes is being developed in response to recent travels the artist has undertaken in regions of France, North Ossetia and China. She has been producing a body of new photographs and sculptures that depict natural forms she encountered which are reminiscent of human or animal respiration systems, considering objects and spaces as living entities. Including a selection of recent works, Matyn’s exhibition will be formulated as an environment, bringing together different forms, characters and encounters. The artist will also use the space as a setting for performances—a central facet of her practice—which offer further reflection on the relations between humans and the natural world.
Saadia Mirza works as an architect by training and has taught the last 8 years on a range of subjects including architecture, design, media arts, ethnography, and visual and spatial analysis. Mirza’s most recent project was conducted in conversation with archaeologists at the CAMEL Lab at the University of Chicago and focuses on visualizing conflict and militarization in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mirza is currently in conversation with glaciologists at ETH Zürich, the University of Chicago and Université Paris Diderot while working on a project on the sounds of historic Antarctic ice events and is working on a film based on fieldwork on the Rhone glacier in the Swiss Alps informed by scientists at ETH in Zurich. Mirza is a PhD candidate in the social sciences at the University of Chicago and currently an artist-in-residence at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris and adjunct faculty at Sciences Po, Paris/Reims.
Paolo Patelli is an architect, artist, and researcher. Through often collaborative enquiries, he engages critically and by design with the materialities, scenes and atmospheres at the intersections of space and society, technologies and environments. Patelli has exhibited internationally, including in the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in 2018. He led a collaborative project commissioned by MAO and Moderna Galerija for BIO26, the 26th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana. He has a research position at the Design Academy Eindhoven (Associate Lecturer Places and Traces), he is a Tutor at the Studio for Immediate Spaces at the Sandberg Instituut and a 2019/2020 Research Fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut. He holds a PhD from Politecnico di Milano. Patelli lives and works in Amsterdam.
Anja Isabel Schneider is a writer, editor, and curator. She holds an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art and an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London. From 2015 to 2020, she was a PhD fellow in Curatorial Research at the Lieven Gevaert Centre (LGC), KU Leuven / M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp. In this position she worked towards the exhibition Mermaid Honeymoon. A curatorial reflection on Allan Sekula’s Ship of Fools / The Dockers’ Museum, M HKA, Antwerp (2020); Allan Sekula. Collective Sisyphus, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona / Koenig Books, London (2019) (co-curated / co-edited with Hilde Van Gelder and Carles Guerra). Schneider lectures internationally and has participated in research projects and curatorial residencies, among others Performing a Workshop, La Ene, Nuevo Museo Energía de Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires (2013–2014); de uma língua para outra / from one language to another, JA.CA – Center of Art and Technology, Belo Horizonte (2014) and Rond-Point Projects, Marseille (2015). Her writing has appeared in magazines, exhibition catalogs and artist monographs. In 2011, she was the laureate of the 4th edition of MARCO / Frac Lorraine Award for Young Curators.
Leen Scholiers (1984) is a tantric yoga teacher and sexuality coach for women and couples. She is the host of the Sublime Woman Summit, that gathered 2500 women in 2020, and has been devoted to the path of transformation for the last 6 years. The foundational roots of the methodology she teaches are in classical Tantra, neo-Tantra, Taoism, Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), Body-Mind Mapping and Dynamic Breathwork.