Areas of interest include questions of social life, socially produced space, critical spatial practice, collectivity and togetherness, micropolitics, cultural agency and subjectivity; social and holistic art practices, transformative pedagogies, feminist new materialism; questions of knowledge production and mobilisation of theory; interconnectedness, relationality, listening; the creation of fields of action, and the development of spaces for critical engagement.
Practice-based PhD research at Winchester School of Art/Southampton University, UK:
How Can the Curatorial Activate a Micropolitical and Holistic Making of Social Empathy; an Approach on Post-Representational Curation
My practice-based PhD research contributes to the field of contemporary curation –in particular approaching the notion of post-representational curation– with the specific angle of examining how the curatorial can activate a micropolitical and holistic making of social empathy.
It investigates transdisciplinary approaches that move beyond displaying ideas towards their mobilisation and embodied experiential activation. The research reconsiders and experiments with the notion of “exhibition”, how else ideas and theories can be mobilised, made experienced beyond curatorial forms of display, representation and beyond the consumption of in particular the visual. How can the curatorial achieve a more self-determined aesthetic and discursive form of practice, that not only questions the curator’s role and the paradigm in which she ought to operate, but one that actively engages and dissolves an on-looking audience; a practice that strives to nurture agency and partaking protagonists.
Through the framework of the Radical Empathy Lab –an on-going (since 2016) social and research laboratory for relational, alternative and holistic knowledge production– I propose what I have come to call “intra-“ and “affective transformative curation”, that embraces what Brazilian Brazilian curator, psychoanalyst, writer, art and cultural critic Suely Rolnik defines as “the knowing body”. A curation that emphasises the sensual and experiential and that sharpens our senses for an “active micropolitics”. Micropolitical is understood in Rolnik’s rationale as an affective and social process in the production of subjectivity, decolonisation and de-subjectivation of the (social) body and its relationality to the Other; towards building a collective, temporary ‘relational body’ (Spinoza) that allows for understanding social empathy as existing in difference with (each/)Other, and, that scholar Carolyn Pedwell would call ‘affective translation’. The concept of decolonisation is approached phenomenologically, to delink from hegemonic and capitalistic appropriations in the process of subjectivation ––which colonize and govern our subjectivity on the micropolitical levels of our desires and imaginaries.
The research activates transdisciplinary holistic methods for creating “critical consciousness” (conscientization) which is an extended interpretation of, and finds guidance in Brazilian educator, activist and educational theorist Paulo Freire’s learning approach of the 1960s and 70s, to address and experience readings of- and being in the world, moving towards new levels of critical awareness. A critical consciousness that strives towards new forms of being together that momentarily allow to reflect, to re-feel and undo a reactionary an-aesthesia (Greek: an-aesthēsis: without sensation). Holistic is understood here not solely as relating and actuating both body and mind, but as the accentuation of the inter-relational and inter-connectedness of systems as wholes in general instead of divided component parts.