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Lecture by Maja and Reuben Fowkes - Rivers as Agents of Change, a part of the Overview Effect projectTalk programs | 28.02.2021
Photo: Oliver Ressler, “The Economy Is Wounded - Let It Die!” 2016
The Museum of Contemporary Art invites you to a lecture by Maja and Reuben Fowkes, “Rivers as Agents of Change”, a part of the “Overview Effect” project.
Thursday, 4 March 2021
6 pm – 7:30 pm CET
The lecture will take place on Zoom and will be accessible through the Museum's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MSUB.MoCAB/
The great rivers of the world are transformed in practice and in the worldly imaginary from compliant subjects of developmentalist agendas of fluvial control to unruly agents of social and ecological change. As climate disruption makes natural forces more extreme and less predictable, rivers are testing the limits of technocratic schemes that since industrialisation have sought to subdue and harness their flows through course straightening and damming. They are also powerful reminders of the resilience of riparian worlds through the remarkable capacity of river ecosystems to recover when treated with care and respect, encapsulated by the vibrancy of the biodiverse delta of the anthropocene Danube. Unlearning industrial modernity’s domineering attitude towards nature, joining campaigns for fluvial rights to the social struggles of rural, urban, migrant and indigenous communities living along riverbanks and celebrating the resurgence of hidden waterways within the city, artists articulate the common demand to stop seeing rivers as moving partsin the capitalist machine and recognise them instead as legal persons, spiritual beings and hydrological agents with the ability to shape histories and environments.
Maja and Reuben Fowkes are art historians, curators and co-directors of the Postsocialist Art Centre (PACT) at University College London and founders of Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art. Their publications include Art and Climate Change (Thames & Hudson, forthcoming), the edited volume Ilona Németh: Eastern Sugar (Sternberg Press, 2021), Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950 (Thames & Hudson, 2020), a special issue of Third Text on Actually Existing Worlds of Socialism (2018) and Maja Fowkes’s The Green Bloc: Neo-Avant-Garde and Ecology under Socialism (2015). Their curatorial collaborations include the Anthropocene Reading Room, the Danube River School, the group show Walking without Footprints and a trilogy of exhibitions on the revolutions of 1956, 1968 and 1989. They lead the Getty Foundation supported research project Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History. www.translocal.org