ephemeropteræ 2015/09 – T.J. Demos | Ann Cotten & Kerstin Cmelka

"Facing catastrophic climate change, runaway global warming, and environmental destruction, modern society appears locked in crisis. That crisis, at once ecological, economic, political, and cultural, concerns our fraught relationship to the world around us—including the myriad life forms threatened with extinction, biodiverse habitats befouled by industrial development, and the planet’s atmosphere filled with greenhouse gas emissions—which is putting life as we know it at grave risk. Indeed, it is increasingly common to read warnings of the near-future collapse of Earth’s life- support systems, and by extension the viability of human civilization, should nothing be done to alter our course. In recent years, viewing Earth as an infinite supply of natural resources to be freely exploited by multinational corporate capitalism has, however, been increasingly challenged, and today, the rights of nature to subsist in a state free from destructive human practices are increasingly being recognized in environmental law as a means to protect our fragile existence. Foremost among the principles of Earth jurisprudence is the recognition that all members of the planet’s community possess legal rights, including the right to exist and participate in the evolution of life’s biodiverse networks of interdependent systems."

—British art-historian, cultural, critic and curator T.J.Demosin his presentation elaborates his extended project “Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in Americas”

T.J. Demos (born 1966) is a British art-historian, cultural, critic and curator, since 2005 teaching in the Department of History of Art at University College London and soon will take up a new professorship at University of California, Santa Cruz in its History of Art and Visual Culture Department.. In 2010, he co-curated Uneven Geographies: Art and Globalization at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham. He organized and published Zones of Conflict: Rethinking Contemporary Art During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013), in London and an exhibition in Pratt Gallery, New York or Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, a screening series of artist films at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. The most recently he has co-curated (with Alex Farquharson and Irene Aristizábal) “Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in Americas” at Nottingham Contemporary (2015). Demos writes for Artforum, Grey Room, October, and Texte zur Kunst. He is author of The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (2013) and Return to the Postcolony: Specters of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013) or The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp (MIT Press, 2007) and edited a special issue of Third Text, no. 120 (Januray 2013) on the subject of “Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology”. Demos lives and works in London.

Ann Cotten & Kerstin Cmelka – “The Pronunciation of Maximization in Song & The Maximization of Pronunciation in Dance”

It is an ancient cultural technique to formulate personal issues in the shape of a song, making them sound legitimate and universal. What might appear as a personal fault or failure is thus transformed by art into a triumphal choir - vorausgesetzt, man singt gut. (Demonstration in deutscher und englischer Sprache).

—American poet Ann Cotten and Austrian film-maker and photographer Kerstin Cmelka continue what they have started in their “I, Coleoptile” (the book of Cotton´s texts and Cmelka´s photographs, Broken Dimanche Press, 2010) which is “a repetition, but also public rehearsal for a performance, yet to be seen” as Lars Gustaf Andersson commented it in Reconstructions 11.1., this time accompanied by Ann´s sister Lucy on cello. (Ann & Lucy Cotten = Dental Princes).

Ann Cotten (Born 1982) is a formidable and growing name in a variety of poetry-based tangents, Cotten needs no introduction for her fans in the Austrian capital. Publishing her first volume of poetry in 2007, Cotten has since been published in many poetry and literary magazines and journals. She has had success with translation-based works and collaboration, notably with fellow artist Kerstin Cmelka. Ann Cotten defines herself as an artist who deals with ‘...mediated literature knowledge and cognitive processes.’

Kerstin Cmelka (Born 1974) studied in Frankfurt am Main at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Städelschule) and moved to the German capital to continue her production of microdramas-considered as condensed and emotional reductions of typical dramas. A filmmaker and photographer, Cmelka is intermedial and talented, and works primarily with exploring the questionable and the unstable. Often her works tackle the difficult questions that arise through the faculties of psychology and reductive dialogue. She and Ann Cotten co-published the book of Cmelka’s photographs and Cotten´s poems titled I. Coleoptile.
September 18, 2015
TBA21–Augarten, Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Free admission