— Image: Grit Ruhland, ‘A marker for the Nuclear Site of „Stolzenberg”’ 2019 —
We warmly invite you to two upcoming events that are the result of a six months intense artistic-academic exchange between Anna Volkmar, PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), and the artists Grit Ruhland, Agnès Villette and Elise Alloin!
Over the past five years, as part of the NWO Graduate programme Arts in Society, Anna has researched the critical role of visual art in debates on nuclear energy, radioactive waste disposal and nuclear disasters. By not only writing about art, but also engaging with the artists on one of the core questions of this debate
– how to communicate the danger of the radioactive waste we leave for future generations? –
she has realised one of the basic tenets of her dissertation:
not to stay in the realm of theory, but to start muddling!
The Environmental Humanities Center Amsterdam presents:
HOW TO CARE FOR OUR NUCLEAR HERITAGE?
4th December, 16:00-18:00
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, main building, room HG-14A33
Presentations by artists Grit Ruhland and Agnès Villette
Afterwards: EHC mid-winter reception!
Time capsules, key information files, sapphire disks, and monuments of terror. Proposals on how to communicate our nuclear heritage to future generations typically converge around ideas of either passing on as much technical information as possible, or instigating fear and repulsion to keep future humans from digging up the waste we have buried. Taking a different approach, we ask: how to care for our nuclear waste? How to make a nuclear site worth remembering? During one afternoon, the artists Grit Ruhland and Agnès Villette will present their versions of nuclear waste markers, provoking us to think about how we want to relate to our nuclear heritage both in the present and in the future.
Introduction by Anna Volkmar, PhD Candidate at Leiden University.
This event is hosted by the Environmental Humanities Center Amsterdam. It is realised with the kind support of CLUE+, the Dutch Research Council NWO and the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society LUCAS.
De Kunstgang at Leiden University presents:
TOPOLOGIES OF CARE
Elise Alloin, Grit Ruhland, and Agnès Villette
3 December, 19:00
With an opening address by prof. R. Zwijnenberg
Kunstgang, Lipsius building, Cleveringaplaats 1
The exhibition is on view December 2019 – January 2020
Image: Grit Ruhland, ‘A marker for the Nuclear Site of „Stolzenberg”’ 2019.
In mathematics, topology is the study of a geometric object that preserves its properties under continuous deformation. Marking sites across (deep) time, ideally, is a topological exercise. In this interactive exhibition, the artists Elise Alloin, Grit Ruhland and Agnès Villette each present their own concept for a nuclear waste marker. Experimenting with past, present and future practices of storytelling to engage with the continuous presence of nuclear waste and contaminated sites, the exhibition is not only a display but asks its viewers to contribute to the fabulation of a topology of care via analogue and digital media.
The exhibition is hosted by Kunstgang Leiden and was realised with the generous support of the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society LUCAS and the Dutch Research Council NWO.
About the artists:
AGNÈS VILLETTE – Based between Paris and Normandy, Agnès Villette is a PhD candidate at Winchester School of Art, her practice based doctorate in Nuclear Aesthetics investigates the Radioactive Ruins of the Norman territory of La Hague. She is also a freelance journalist with an art practice in photography. Trained in literature, she gained an Agrégation in Modern Literature at Paris Sorbonne and a Master in Art Photography at London College of Communication, London. She is currently developing four art projects at the intersection of photography, writing and theory, such as the photographic series Alien of the Species exploring invasive insects and entomology, Beta Bunker, researching bunker architecture and its current transformation into data centres, Haunted, her PhD project about the Norman peninsula and its nuclear Cold War legacy and finally Landemer, a nonfiction novel based on an unsolved crime case that happened in 1969, in Cherbourg.
GRIT RUHLAND – Grit Ruhland is PhD-candidate at Bauhaus University Weimar – researching the impacts of Uranium mining on the landscape of East-Germany. Her artistic work is based on a conceptual approach, and involves projects within Community Arts, Public Art, Sound Art, and interaction with scientific institutes and topics. Keywords are cognition, space, technology, landscape and participation. She received her degree in 2005 in Fine Arts at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden. She has been teaching in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Wuppertal, and Spatial Practise at the Institute for Music & Art Pedagogy, University of Dresden. Since 2018 she is part of the Nuclear Culture Research Group, connected through Goldsmiths College, University of London und The Arts Catalyst.
ELISE ALLOIN – Elise Alloin is an art practice researcher and artist graduated in Fine Arts at Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin, Strasbourg in 2013. She explores, through artistic installations, aspects of the relationship our societies develop with radioactivity since the physical phenomena has been discovered. She collaborates with nuclear researchers since 2014 (CNRS) and is currently guest researcher at the CRESAT, University of Haute Alsace, and associated artist at the Kunsthalle, Mulhouse Artcenter, to develop a research project together with geographers, historians, political scientists and anthropologists on territory transitions linked with the announced shut down of Fessenheim nuclear power plant.