TWO SYMPOSIA ON THE MONSTROUS AND COLLECTIVE TRAUMA
Both contemporary literature and art is haunted by monsters, monstrous beings, strange beasts and uncanny creatures that make the notion of universal humanism waver and remind us of unpleasant, repressed stories. The intention of MEETING OUR MONSTERS is to consider topics like death, catastrophe, trauma and the non-human from artistic-literary perspectives with the monster and monstrous in focus. We ask what happens to our gaze and our narratives when we incorporate the monster as a part of ourselves? What kinds of encounters become possible if we adopt new positions on death and its restorative potentials?
The symposia consist of talks, performances and conversations, and a small text collection will be printed with an excerpt from Kristen Alvanson’s XYZT, translated into Danish by Nazila Kivi, and poems by Hiromi Itō, translated from the Japanese by Annette Thorsen Vilslev.
Most of the participants will participate digitally, and there are a limited number of seats. More information about reservation will follow.
The symposia will be live-streamed and a podcast will be produced by THE LAKE.
28th of October: The mezzanine, Kunsthal Charlottenborg.
With Kristen Alvanson, Reza Negarestani, Ahmed Saadawi, Siv Frøydis Berg, Nazila Kivi, Nana-Francisca Schottländer, Ari Lin Sixten
4th of November: The ceremonial hall, Kunsthal Charlottenborg.
With Hiromi Itō, Niviaq Korneliussen, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Silas Inoue, Jota Mombaça, Nazila Kivi
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
Kristen Alvanson (US) is an artist and writer. Based on the experience of living as an American in Iran, Alvanson’s novel XYZT from 2019 is a wildly imaginative dramatization of the idea of a "dialogue of civilizations" and its potentially outlandish ramifications.
Reza Negarestani (IR/UK) is a philosopher and writer, known for pioneering the genre of “theory-fiction” with his book Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials from 2008, which is the first horror and science fiction book coming from and written on the Middle East.
Hiromi Itō (JP) is one of the most prominent writers of contemporary Japan. Her poetry explores themes like immigration, motherhood, gender, ecocriticism and sexuality, and one of her main works, the poetry collection Wild Grass on the Riverbank from 2005, was translated into Danish in 2018.
Ahmed Saadawi (IRQ) is a novelist, poet, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. His novel Frankenstein in Baghdad from 2013 is a wartime spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Set in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the work explores the theme of war through gothic motifs.
Niviaq Korneliussen (GR) is a writer. Her 2014 debut novel Homo sapienne focuses on the lives of five young adults in Nuuk and was noted for both its use of modern storytelling techniques and for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ people in Greenlandic society. In her most recent novel Blomsterdalen, 2020, Korneliussen portrays, incandescently, the all-pervading presence in the Greenlandic society of the suicide as fantasy, remembrance and possibility - however shrouded in silence.
Siv Frøydis Berg (NO) a scholar at the Norwegian National Library. She has done extensive research on monsters, cloning and artificial humans in the both the history of ideas and works of fiction – e.g. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe’s Faust. Berg’s work displays how ‘the monster’ can be an important figure in our endeavour to rethink and understand concepts like modernity, technology, the body and otherness.
Nazila Kivi (DK) is a translator and cultural critic. She is also the founder of Salon Hysteria and an editor at the feminist magazine Friktion. Her Danish translation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Men from 1989 was published in 2019.
Ursula Andkjær Olsen (DK) is a writer and poet. Her latest collection of poetry Mit Smykkeskrin from 2020 is about biological, economical, and emotional circuits, about passing on life and going through menopause, about pain and ecstasy and the big bang.
Ari Lin Sixten (DK) is an artist and half of the former artist duo Morblod. Inspired by horror and hydrofeminism and rooted in visual and material storytelling, their work uses performance and sculpture as a means to examine horizons and blind angles in human subjectivity through embodiment of the monster as a political gesture and a figure that always tears at boundaries.
Nana-Francisca Schottländer (DK) is an artist working with dance, performance, installation- and conceptual art. Within recent years her focus has been on the co-creational potentials of encounters and intra-actions between humans and other-than-humans like wind, fungi, tide, soil and landscapes with their inherent phenomena and beings.
Silas Inoue (DK) is an artist. His praxis is characterized by an idiosyncratic approach to nature and natural sciences, and a style he describes as Quasi-Asian in reference to he’s mixed Danish and Japanese heritage. His current exhibition, titled Love Your Monsters, is a total installation at Store Tårn on Christiansø. An expedition into a mutated nature, a post-apocalypse, where monster and human are not opposites. It is a collaboration with Anders Brinch called Shabu, Shabu.
Jota Mombaça (BR) is an interdisciplinary artist. Through performance, visionary fiction, poetry, critical theory and situational strategies of knowledge production, they intend to rehearse the end of the world as we know it and the figuration of what comes after we dislodge the Modern-Colonial subject off its podium. Their installation and video work THE DAUGHTERS OF THE DRIEST RAIN is a part of the Biennale of Sydney this year.