Galleri Majkens proudly presents UNRELIABLE NATURALISTS - an odyssey that outlines the footsteps of amateurish pioneers, mistrusted storytellers, unauthorised daughters of huntsmen and an extremely tired expedition-crew.
UNRELIABLE NATURALISTS* presents six contemporary artistic positions challenging the historical origin of nature-sciences as being written by a privileged, male elite. The show makes visible concepts, voices, ideas and practices that have historically been excluded from the collective production of knowledge due to gender, race or a lack of education. In order of bringing these excluded voices into a context that gives them relevance today the exhibited works especially take into account the position of „the artist“ in analogy to the historical figure of „the naturalist“. Naturalists were shunned by „experts“ for lack of specific knowledge, but without their contributions we would know far less about the world we live in.
This draws specific attention to the role of art and artistic research in relation to nature sciences, where art seldom exceeds the state of being used as a tool for visualisation of „established“ knowledge. From a critically informed point of view, the exhibited works argue for a broadened understanding of sustainability and ecology as well as challenge the idea of a claimed separation between nature and culture, animals and humans, theory and practice, magic and science by highlighting feminist or queer struggles and urgencies that take place in these terrains.
*The exhibition title stems from "The unreliable Naturalist”- a performative framework for research that featured artist Beth Savage is unfolding within the process of her PhD at Teesside University England. It is based on the idea of the unreliable narrator; a storyteller who’s credibility is compromised. The unreliable naturalist follows in the footsteps of pioneering amateur naturalists who made substantial contributions to our knowledge of the “natural world". They critically challenges the idea that "an amateur naturalist” may be seen to have little or no credibility, nor authority in the discourse around ecological issues, thus their voices go unheard. The Unreliable Naturalist believes that this discourse is of everyone’s concern and so, by reclaiming amateurism, she hopes to inspire others to shed their inhibitions and join the discussion.
Elin Magnusson (SWE)
A conceptual video and performance artist and film director. Her work can be found in the borderland where culture clashes into nature, questioning norms. Feminism, sexuality, body and space are recurring topics in her work.
Beth Savage (UK)
Works across several mediums including performance and installation. Beth Savage examines social ecologies and human/nature relationships, investigating notions of wildness. She draws heavily on researching conservation and rewilding initiatives in Scotland and across the UK.
Paul Hurley (UK)
Has since 2001 performed and exhibited in galleries, theatres, festivals and public spaces internationally. Whilst he is best known for his solo performance practice, his work has involved participatory projects and collaborations with other artists.He is interested in action, ritual, queerness and humour.
The Institute of Queer Ecology (IQECO)
A collaborative organism looking to find and create alternative, aiming to nurture a new environment. IQECO is guided by queer and feminist theory and decolonial thinking, working to undo dangerously destructive human-centric hierarchies.
Karin Reisinger (A)
Teaches Art and Design at the Technical University in Vienna, and in the seminar Feminist Ecologies at Viennas Art Academy. Karin was one of the organisers for the conference Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies, 2016. Meanwhile in Sweden she explored the archive and memories of the mining societies using methods appropriated from feministic political ecologies.
Geraldine Juárez (MEX/SWE)
is a visual artist using time-based media, sculpture and performance to consider the materials, histories, technics, politics and economics shaping the dominant narratives and contexts in contemporary media culture.
SUPERMARKET ASSOCIATE GALLERY
For this exhibition we are associated to Supermarket Art Fair (which takes place just a few minutes away from our location). Being one of their Associate Galleries - Unreliable Naturalists is featured as an official satellite exhibition to the art fair on their social media-platforms, complying with their official event "Associate Galleries Night". Link to Supermarket´s Facebook-event: Associate Galleries Night
We launched a successful fundraiser which raised money that managed to cover exhibition costs, and supported the participating artists with shipping and travel costs.