Welcome to the Posthumanities Hub Seminar on Queer Death Aesthetics with speakers: Karolina Żyniewicz (University of Warsaw) and Jacob B. Riis (Aarhus University)!
Queer Death Studies (QDS) is an emerging transdisciplinary field that critically investigates and challenges conventional normativities, assumptions and expectations surrounding the issues of death, dying and mourning in the contemporary world. In particular, QDS pays attention to the ways planetary-scale necropolitics render some lives and deaths more recognised, understood or grievable than others. If ‘queering’ in QDS is understood in a broad, open-ended sense as strange-making, defamiliarising, where the critical defamiliarisation implied may lead to an opening of other, more affirmative horizons, what would then ‘queer death aesthetics’ mean? During the seminar we will try to tackle this question in depth…
The event is curated by Dr Marietta Radomska and is organised in collaboration with The Eco- and Bioart Lab.
When: 27th May 2021, 13:15 – 15:00 CEST
Where: On Zoom
REGISTRATION: In order to take part in the seminar, please register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 25th May 2021 at noon (CEST) the latest.
The Zoom link will be sent to you on 26th May.
More info below.
Safe suicide – becoming immortal and dying anyway.
By Karolina Żyniewicz
How to experience immortal life and death at the same time? How to do it safely, without a risk? Are cells isolated from my body still part of me? These were the main questions which I asked to myself and to my scientific collaborators in the beginning of working on safe suicide project. The project was transmattering on many different levels, a transformation of the body and its notion, understanding of life and death coalition, cognitive production, artistic expression. In the frame of the project I immortalised my cells, B lymphocytes just in order to decide about their death. Technically speaking, it was giving to them/myself immortality to take it back in many different experiments. It was being a donor, an observer, a caretaker and a killer at the same time. The project does not give precise answers for the posted questions but it allows to envision what means being liminal, being many and being constantly reconfigured.
Karolina Żyniewicz is an artist (2009 graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Department of Visual Arts) and researcher, PhD student (Nature-Culture Transdisciplinary PhD Program at Artes Liberales Faculty, University of Warsaw). Working in a laboratory (mostly at the Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw) locates her works in the field of bio art, although she tries to avoid using this term.
Are we dead yet?
By Jacob B. Riis
One of the defining characteristics in human behavioural modernity is burial of the dead in conjunction with ritual and art – art’s primordial love affair is with putrefying corpses. This project outlines a genre that utilises material corpses to produce contemporary art pieces. I currently conceptualise this art form as Necro Art, which serves to connect it to Mbembian inspired Necro Aesthetics and simultaneously establish it as its own field or genre within Art History. While perhaps being a version of Body Art originating in Viennese Actionism, Necro Art simultaneously aligns along different trajectories. It samples and shuffles in early human ritual, folkloric, pagan and rural art forms usually not present in realms of High/Academic Art, and brings the overlooked, the spectral, the magical, and the illiterate too Art History. Through focus on materiality, agency and constellations of subjectivities, each artwork conjures ghosts, reveals life where there is none, and allows its experiencer to connect with the dead, forcing us to reconsider the boundaries of life.
Jacob B. Riis, Art historian (graduated from Copenhagen University in 2014), 2009-2014 Curator Assistant at The Danish Museum of National History, Hillerød, 2014-2018 Head of Teaching and Curator at Ordrupgaard in Copenhagen, currently PhD student at Art History, Aarhus University.