7 MAY 2019 // 18:00 - 20:00
“Today’s lesson in hydrofeminism is about our own fishy beginnings. We could call it ‘evolution’, but if we do we have to be clear on what it means. It’s a lesson in where we come from, but as Donna Haraway writes: “there is no border where evolution ends and history begins, where genes stop and environment takes up, culture rules and nature submits and vice versa. Instead, there are turtles upon turtles of nature-culture all the way down. Every being that matters is the conjuries of its formative histories. All of them.”
- Astrida Neimanis, 2017.
In her book “Bodies of Water” Astrida Neimanis invites us to embark on a vast and important task: rethinking embodiment as watery, against conventional understandings of the individual subject as discrete, coherently bounded, and awaiting control. This discrete individualism is indeed washed away as a "dry myth" as Neimanis proposes her notion of "hydrocommons." Her understanding of bodies of water challenges not only individualism, but also the anthropocentrism of which the unitary subject is but a part. Neimanis thus declares from the very opening of her book that "water embodiment presents a challenge to three related humanist understandings of corporeality: discrete individualism, anthropocentrism, and phallogocentrism". She then develops feminist figurations aiming to unsettle all three: her concepts of gestationality, of amniotics, and her posthuman feminist phenomenology.
We will read closely and discuss Chapter 1 — where Neimanis suggests that feminist theory may intervene in phenomenology as a corrective to anthropocentrism. Her point is: our bodies, even while wildly imbricated in watery entanglements much beyond our consciousness, are nonetheless lived, and expanding this experience to the posthuman is indeed a phenomenological exercise that may produce a posthuman ethics of difference.
As we read, we interrogate how the recurring ideas of Neimanis can be used as departure points for our artistic and research methodologies — starting by looking into the artworks by Margo Trushina in the EQUINOX LIGHT CURE exhibition.
The event is free and open to all, tea and cookies on us.