EMAP residency 2019

EMAP residency 2019 has started in April with the launch of artist Margherita Pevere’s research in biotechnological laboratory of our partner UR Institute, located in Dubrovnik. After the first phase of the project, Pevere will continue developing her artwork at the Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb from July to August 2019. EMAP residency in Dubrovnik and Zagreb will emphasizes the cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary aspects of Pevere’s work, offering her at the same time the possibility for an intensive and focused artistic research during the residency period. The residency contributes to international visibility and significance of contemporary artistic practices engaging local communities and new audiences, and merging productively and creatively diverse areas of knowledge.

Margherita Pevere, Wombs (Installation, 2018-2019)

Through Wombs, Margherita Pevere is interested in reframing the absence of maternity, a key choice in a woman’s life that requires daily negotiation with one’s own body, needs and desires. The project elaborates on the current artistic discourse on anthropogenic chemicals, whose contributors include Kira O' Reilly, Mary Maggic, Byron Rich, Liz Flynt, Gjino Šutić, Robertina Šebjanič, through a focus on sexuality and female self-determination.

Far from being a plain critique of contraception, the project embraces such choice and acknowledges the privilege of having access to medical care and sexual self-determination. It takes a critical stance towards how consolidated, apparently harmless choices invisibly entangle us with ecological disruption. By so doing, the project prompts a critical re-thinking of the discourses on pregnancy and contraception as a female-only, human-only experience enclosed in one’s own body. How to make sense of such complexity through art?

With regard to the outlined complexity, Pevere points at two key ideas underpinning her PhD research. The first one is Margrit Schildick’s understanding of the body as an ontologically leaky entity (Shildrick, 1997). The second one is Marietta Radomska’s reading of materiality as characterized by a “provisional character of boundaries between entities” (Radomska, 2016). Such ideas suggest, on the one hand, how bodies inherently exceed borders that are culturally assigned. On the other hand, they point at an inherent openness to contamination: life happens on the liminal plane. How to ethically navigate contamination among bodies that are inherently leaky?

Wombs expand Margherita Pevere's research on the active matter, the idea of leaky bodies in the frame of biotechnological research, and the relational ecology of humans and nature which the artist terms “the human-(N)ature complex”. Her previous works looked at the negotiation with death and transience through in-vivo DNA-data storage (artistic research project Semina Aeternitatis); agro-economic waste and disgust (installation Lymph); and bodily displacement, bio-sensing and artificial intelligence (performance Eingeweide, with Marco Donnarumma). Wombs take a step further in the artistic repurposing of biotechnological by looking at artists own body and sexuality as a place of contamination.

Margherita Pevere (IT/DE)

WIth a visceral fascination for biological matter, Margherita Pevere (DE) is an artist and researcher who distinguishes herself on the contemporary art & science scene for her unique signature. Bacteria, animals and plants are her allies in the exploration of underlying theme of ecological complexity, which she pursues with sophisticated bodily aesthetics. Created both in the studio and in biological laboratories, Pevere’s installations and performances are chimeras which intertwine poetics and controversy, critique and desire.

Based between Berlin and Helsinki, Pevere is PhD Candidate in Artistic Research at Aalto University, Helsinki (FI), in collaboration with Biofilia Laboratory – Base for biological arts, supported by Kone Foundation. She is member of the Finnish Bioart Society. In 2018 she was awarded the Digital Art Award of Romaeuropa Festival (with Marco Donnarumma) and the Honorable Mention at the Share Prize. Most recent shows include Experiment Zukunft, Kunsthalle Rostock (DE); Emergent Form, the Fields Institute for Research in mathematical Sciences, Toronto (CA); What is life?, Kiasma Theatre, Helsinki (FI).