How can we foreground the environment in new readings of artworks? And what kinds of curatorial practice might address pressing ecological concerns?
Join the Mellon-Marron Research Consortium (MRC) community to explore ecocritical approaches to MoMA’s collection through the 2021–22 MRC Study Sessions. This year’s sessions focus on works by artists, architects, and designers who place climate and the environment at the forefront of their concerns. Organized in conjunction with ongoing initiatives at the Museum—the Broken Nature exhibition and podcast, the investigations of the Cisneros Research Institute into the arts and the environment in Latin America, and the launch of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment—this series of online conversations will feature an interdisciplinary group of guest speakers who each, in different and innovative ways, explore the complexly tethered relationship between humankind and the natural environment.
Session One: Seeing through Time
Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics, Harvard University.
A multidisciplinary thinker, Galison was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (1997). Galison is also a socially-committed filmmaker: his works include Containment (2015), which—in a long tradition of manifestos by concerned scientists—addresses the urgent need to safeguard radioactive materials millennia into the future.
Associate professor of art history, University of California, Berkeley
Trained as both an historian and an art historian, Ray’s research and writing explores climate change and early modern and colonial artistic cultures. His book, Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550–1850 (2019), focuses on the act of seeing the natural environment in creative practices. His co-edited collection, Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art (2020), looks at the relation between ecological art and global art history.
Session Two: Material Expressions
Distinguished Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture,University of California, Santa Cruz
Dean’s work explores the expressive cultures of native Andeans of South America in the early modern and colonial period. Her book, A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on Rock (2010), helps frame distinctive Inkan worldviews in their visual and material manifestations. A Culture of Stone explores how certain stones took on lives of their own and played a vital role in the unfolding of Inka history.
Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Columbia University
At Columbia, Povinelli has led the Institute for Research, Women and Sexuality and the Center for Law and Culture. Across a series of five books, including Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism (2016), she has mapped a critical account of late settler colonialism. In 2012, under the auspices of the Karrabing Film Collective, Povinelli and Indigenous colleagues in North Australia, began to make short films as a method of self-organization, analysis, and alternate imaginings. Povinelli has directed three of Karrabing’s films.