ANN: 6th Winter School of the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts
New Natures, Entangled Cultures: Perspectives in Environmental Humanities
23 – 27 January 2017
For more information see the Winter School website
How do we imagine nature/culture? How do new environments emerge and how do we design them – deliberately or by chance? The 6th Winter School of the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts focuses on the notions of “nature” and “culture” as entangled phenomena. Environmental humanities make an effort to overcome the centuries old division between sciences and humanities by stressing that speaking about “nature” and the hybrid forms of naturecultures is of central importance for all disciplines within the humanities.
We invite doctoral and MA students to think beyond the comfortable binaries of nature and culture and to discuss topics like recycling and hybridity, (eco)nationalism and aesthetics, technology and landscape, corporeality and posthumanism, materiality and animality in order to understand the creative power of “nature” as a cultural metaphor and the intimate interconnectedness between environment and culture.
The programme of the Winter School consists of: 1) interdisciplinary lectures and discussions conducted by Estonian and guest lecturers; 2) student seminars and slams where graduate participants present and discuss their own research; 3) student workshops outside the customary classroom environment.
Plenary speakers: Dr. Harriet Hawkins (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Dr. Dolly Jørgensen (Luleå University of Technology)
Dr. Timothy LeCain (Montana State University)
Dr. Jamie Lorimer (University of Oxford)
Prof. Gregg Mitman (University of Wisconsin – Madison / Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society)
Prof. David Moon (University of York)
Prof. Kate Rigby (Bath Spa University)
Dr. Bronislaw Szerszynski (Lancaster University)
School of Humanities, Tallinn University
Estonian Centre for Environmental History, Tallinn University
Prof. Ulrike Plath (Tallinn University / Estonian Academy of Sciences)
Prof. Marek Tamm (Tallinn University)
Doris Feldmann (Tallinn University)
Tiiu-Triinu Tamm (Tallinn University)
Exhibition: A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1970s-1980s
Mar 04, 2017 - Jul 31, 2017
Zimmerli Art Museum
Dodge Gallery (Lower Level)
New Brunswick, NJ
A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1960s-1980s is the first exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum to explore the wide range of meanings that the natural world held for unofficial artists in the Soviet Union. Drawn from the strengths of the Dodge Collection, the exhibition brings together works produced in the period between thaw and perestroika that challenged the link between nature, optimism, and progress, which socialist realist aesthetics had promoted. Approximately fifty objects across media are featured, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and performance, by more than twenty-five artists and artist groups from the Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine. Despite the artists’ diverse backgrounds and creative approaches, together their works establish nature as a vibrant subject matter, push the boundaries of landscape as a genre, and limit the appropriation of landscape imagery in the name of socialist ideology. In turn, the status of nature in late socialism, and one’s individual or collective place within it, is explored as an open–and vital–question.
A Vibrant Field assembles varied perspectives, vantage points, and orientations that underlie how one experiences nature, both in the physical sense of navigating nature as a real environment and in the conceptual sense of coming to know, describe, represent, or assign it with symbolic value. The exhibition is mapped along three principle zones of inquiry. The first, Visions, draws together work that takes to task the process of visualizing spaces in nature in order to elucidate, reimagine, or critique how humans relate to or inhabit them. In this section, particular attention is paid to works that highlight ecological concerns resulting from the exploitation of natural resources and rapid pursuit of industrialization in the Soviet Union. In Reflections, artists place less emphasis on the material landscapes in nature than on how they become a picture and the role of artistic convention, memory, and ideology in mediating this process. Finally, Encounters considers the emergence of land art and performance-based practices in nature in the 1970s and 1980s that provided a freer alternative to urban communality, ritual, and public space in the Soviet Union. Through their direct encounters with the land, artists in this section approach nature not only as a subject matter or a backdrop to their work, but in some cases as an actor or co-producer.
Organized by Anna Rogulina, a Dodge-Lawrence Fellow at the Zimmerli and Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History at Rutgers, and SHERA member
This exhibition is made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund.