Hydrofeminism in the wake of the climate crisis

Conversation with Elena Lundqvist Ortìz from Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology
28 April 4–5pm

On the occasion of the final day of Marika Troili’s exhibition Waterside Recreation, we have invited Elena Lundqvist Ortíz, curator and researcher based in Helsingør, Denmark, to speak about questions of hydrofeminism in the wake of global ecological crisis and the transatlantic slave trade, and how this wake perpetually condition which lives matter and how.

The talk is an exploration of water, both as material and as metaphor. Ortiz investigates how seas, oceans and other bodies of water are oceanic archives that hold histories about past, present and future ways of being, caring, mourning and regenerating together.

Echoing Astrida Neimanis’ statement that ”we are all bodies of water” and expanding on Karen Barad’s notion of intra-action, she on the one hand points to how this wake (referencing Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being) of planetary destruction, colonialism and enslavement are not separate, but intrinsically entangled in the Anthropocene. On the other han Lundqvist Ortiz shows us the importance of decolonizing and unsettling the narrative of the (supreme) human. Being a body of water, turns our attention towards our responsibility and mutual implication in the world.

Elena Lundqvist Ortíz is behind the project Hydra, a water polyp to the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology and a curatorial research project on watery worlding, transcorporeality and oceanic healing.

Waters on the planet are running through deep challenges. As the warming climate melts the Arctic ice, oceans acidify and planetary currents are destabilized, we become aware of just how intricately we are intra-acting with the watery world; whether it meets us as storms, floods or droughts. Meanwhile, the contamination of the waters is ongoing, in the form of oil spills, chemical toxins, heavy metals, radioactive waste and plastic. All bodies depend on these waters, including our human ones. We all have water streaming through us, not unlike any other reservoir, river or lake. Boundaries between human and more-than-human bodies blur as we follow the streams of water.

Hydra is anchored in Snekkersten, on the coast of Øresund, and travels with water wherever it may flow.

Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology is a multidisciplinary platform for planetary becoming. Concerned with questions of global multispecies sufferings and environmental distress, the laboratory works with experimental exhibition formats and knowledge productions in the knotty entanglements between the human and the non-human, between the arts and the sciences, guided by feminist and posthuman(istic) strategies – be they artistic, theoretical, scientific, or everything at once. Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology was founded in 2014 by Dea Antonsen and Ida Bencke. The Laboratory has since expanded to also include Elena Lundqvist Ortíz, Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan and Miriam Wistreich.