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Lament

A project being developed in the framework of Resonances IV on NaturArchy.   

Project description

How to think of death beyond a human-only terms? How to engage with death in times of eco-disruption with the hope to formulate alliances with nature that are not based on exploitation? How may art contribute to address death, a pervasive taboo in Western culture? My long-term project Unframing death (2022-2026) addresses those questions though bioart, performance and writing. Within Unframing death, Lament artistically engages with ecological grief by responding to the changes in an ecosystem after anthropogenic wildfires. Lament will be a composite piece offering intimacy with more-than-human death and space for grief. It will take place partly on the site of anthropogenic fires through a participative performance and partly in the exhibition venue with an installation. Philosophically, it draws on queer ecology and queer death studies by venturing in realms beyond classical divides between life and death.

Lament_representative image
Picture credit: Tim Deussen 2017

Margherita Pevere is an artist and researcher whose inquiry hybridizes bio-technology, ecology, environmental politics, gender and death studies to create arresting installations and performances that trail today’s ecological complexity. Lucía Iglesias Blanco is a forestry engineer and a nature protection expert, at DG ENV. Former IEEP Director (Institute for European Environmental Policy), Céline Charveriat is a renowned research activist and experienced civil society leader. The three of them met at the SciArt Summer School on NaturArchy which took place in June 2022 at the JRC in Ispra. Margherita also involved artist and musician Ivan Penov in the project, who will contribute with sound recordings of burnt wood. They are also actively looking to work with experts from the JRC on wildfires. Since the residency periods at JRC, Margherita has also been working with Diana Vieira - an Environmental Engineer with a special focus on soil erosion risk, who has worked on burned areas and the underlying key-processes in fire-affected soils and landscapes to better adapt models to burned conditions.

What drives this project?

Lament looks at death ecologies after wildfires. Wildfires as one of the ecological phenomena or environmental phenomena that are part of ecosystem, but have been changing in the last decades because of anthropogenic environmental change - certain ecosystem are more prone to fire. So at a an ecological scale, how does death change meaning or implications in times of changing ecosystems? I started this project with the intention to give attention to the more than human implications of this process. So there's how to voice environmental grief, for instance, how to make space for solastalgia, how to make space for becomings after an environment has been dying.

pevere

Margherita Pevere, Artist 


My contribution to the project is very linked to the work I do at the Commission, so it's especially or in particular what Natura 2000 and the Natura 2000 network can bring to the project as it hosts very different type of ecosystems, including forests, that are being affected traditionally or more recently because of climate change by forest fires or wildfires. And I hope that Natura 2000 values, the Natura 2000 network and its processes, the importance of nature conservation, can reach also not only the artists, but the public and somehow let them get to know and feel proud about European nature and what is being done for its protection and for their benefit, so that they would want to take care of it.

lucia iglesias

Lucia Iglesias Blanco, Policymaker