Online 22 Oct 2020 Free

As part of the French organisation Thanks for Nothing‘s third annual symposium, Instructions for the woodcutters: Art, Sustainability and Commitment, the Serpentine’s General Ecology project convenes a conversation on ecological and situated practice.

From the 19-23 October 2020, Thanks for Nothing, in partnership with the Serpentine’s General Ecology project and ArtReview is convening its third annual symposium. This year, the gatherings will focus on environmental and ecological practice across art, architecture and philosophy.

On Thursday 22 October, Serpentine will convene About Place, a conversation taking place on Thursday 22 October between artists Fernando García-Dory (INLAND/Campo Adentro), Isabel Lewis and Serpentine’s General Ecology Curator, Lucia Pietroiusti. Together, the speakers will reflect on the ways in which both artists share a profound commitment to place in their practice – and will discuss ecological work, situated knowledges and rooted practice.

Participants to the symposium Instructions for the woodcutters: Art, Sustainability and Commitment include artist Alex Cecchetti, philosopher Emanuele Coccia, artist Lina Lapelyte and writer Leïla Slimani among many others. Please note that selected sessions in the symposium will be held in French. “About Place” will be fully in English.

About Place is part of the General Ecology Network’s activities and is a collaboration between Thanks for Nothing, ArtReview and the Serpentine’s General Ecology Project. The symposium’s title, “Instructions for the woodcutters”, was proposed by artist Lina Lapelytė.


Fernando García-Dory´s work engages with the relationship between culture and nature now, as manifested in multiple contexts from landscape and the rural, to desires and expectations concerned with identity, as well as (global) crisis, utopia and the potential for social change. Interested in the harmonic complexity of biological forms and processes, his work addresses connections and cooperation, from microorganisms to social systems, and from traditional art languages to collaborative agroecological projects, actions, and cooperatives. He has exhibited at: Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Athens, Lisbon, Gwangju and Jeju Biennales; and at dOCUMENTA (13). He is the recipient of the 2012 Annenberg Prize for Socially Engaged Art by Creative Time New York and a fellow of Council of Forms (Paris) and board member of the World Alliance of Nomadic Pastoralists, an organisation he first convened in 2007. In 2009, he founded the para-institution named INLAND in which he now dissolves his authorship. INLAND is currently preparing proposals for Serpentine Galleries, Documenta 15 and Istanbul Biennale.

Isabel Lewis’s (b. 1981, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) persistent experimentation and embodied research practices create formats for alternative modes of sociality between human and more-than-human agents in transdisciplinary ways. For the artist, dancer, DJ and theorist, any given format suggests ways of ordering the sensible. How to engage with format is a deeply political question. “Hosted occasions”, “open spaces”, “occurrences”, “arrangements”, “activations” “expanded viewings”, “sensory parcours” as well as workshops, lecture performances, listening sessions and party nights such as the nine-years-running Bodysnatch series in Berlin are to be found in the history of Lewis’s work. Trained in literary criticism and philosophy, and with her artistic roots in dance, Lewis employs an expanded sense of the choreographic that centers its focus around generating affective bodily experiences that address all of the senses in her inherently collaborative practice. Her work has been presented within the contexts of contemporary art, music, and theater at Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Basel, Liverpool Biennial, Palais de Tokyo, Sharjah Biennial, Roskilde Music Festival, Tanz im August, Kampnagel, and Steirischer Herbst amongst others.

Full programme

Monday 19 October
5-6:30pm BST

Leïla Slimani in conversation with Anaël Pigeat
Lina Lapelytė in conversation with Lucia Pietroiusti

Tuesday 20 October
5-6:30pm BST

Emanuele Coccia
Felix Hallwachs

Wednesday 21 October
5-6:30pm BST

Boris Bergmann
Alex Cecchetti

Thursday 22 October
5-6:30pm BST

“About Place” Fernando García-Dory and Isabel Lewis in conversation with Lucia Pietroiusti
Programmed in collaboration with Serpentine Galleries

Friday 23 October
5-6:30pm BST

Programme convened by ArtReview





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