In her talk and conversation, Stefanie Hessler will focus on the 17th MOMENTA Biennale titled Sensing Nature she is currently curating and which is set to open in September this year in Montreal. The exhibition is informed by a desire to unsettle the divide between nature and its representation. The exhibitions will be guided by the works of artists deeply invested in decolonizing strategies and examining queer ecologies to reimagine environmental politics and notions of the natural. The Biennale will work towards decentring the often-foregrounded Western human creator of knowledge about the natural world to make room for stories that dwell in the blurred boundaries between culture and nature, weaving in different forms of knowing, both human and nonhuman. Audacious and hopeful, these “other” stories propose a shift in perception toward the sensibility of earth systems as narrators of their own logic. In turning toward nature’s own enunciations, the biennale explores new, caring sensitivities.
Stefanie Hessler is a curator, writer, and editor. Her work focuses on interdisciplinary systems from an intersectional feminist perspective, with an emphasis on the ocean and other ecologies, as well as on expanded definitions of life and non-life, nonhumans, and technology. She is the director of Kunsthall Trondheim in Norway since 2019, where her first two exhibitions were with Jenna Sutela and Geocinema. She is project co-leader (with Katja Aglert) for “Seeding Arts and Environmental Humanities”, a large-scale transdisciplinary research project within the Seed Box framework at Linköping University, Sweden, within which she is working towards an exhibition, publication, and conference at Kunsthall Trondheim. Between 2020–22 Hessler is visiting research scholar at the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media at Westminster University in London, UK.