Across The Way With
November 15, 2021
Shimmer (Rotterdam) and PUBLICS (Helsinki) present Across The Way With... an informal online reading aloud program on intimacy in the public domain. Launched in May 2020, with a growing list of readers from Finland, The Netherlands and across the world.

In Lauren Berlant’s essay Intimacy: A Special Issue, she tells us that everyone thinks they know how to do intimacy, but it is something that is quickly misinterpreted. Intimacy is troubling, fleeting, and challenging to speak about— and more especially to enact. Shimmer and PUBLICS explore intimacy’s obscurity by welcoming words of artists, poets, philosophers, curators, and others from Finland, The Netherlands and around the world. To bring our guests and audience together through multifaceted subjects in a time where racism, war, and greed infiltrates our lives, public intimacy becomes a political act of openness. We intend to challenge intimacy and go beyond the conventional understanding of intimacy as ‘only’ the ‘personal’. Instead, the program considers intimacy as a means to re-think the community and how ‘we’ modern humans in a digitized society engage in the care of one another.

We’re thinking about the texture of the voice, the rhythm of a body, the poetic and artistic methods of writing and how these forms of intimacy can be ‘voiced’ publically. Together we will create a space that is both public and intimate, digital and analogue, distant and in proximity. We choose to create an online platform as a support for the act of reading aloud for others and with others. For the audience it is the intimate act of being read to, it is the intimacy of the texture of the voice, the rhythms of breathing, the digitised voice streaming to you. In this way, rather than creating a ‘reading group’ for discussion, we will create a space of the phone in the pocket, heard on the tram, the laptop taken to bed, at work, in the kitchen. We’re thinking about the platform as a resource, a place available to contemplate, to flesh out the possibilities of access, a site that goes beyond our networks, and walls.

PUBLICS is a curatorial agency with a dedicated library, event space and reading room in Vallila Helsinki, known for its industrial working class histories and, more recently, for its influx of divergent artistic and academic communities. Under the artistic direction of curator Paul O’Neill, with program manager and curator Eliisa Suvanto, PUBLICS explores a “work together” institutional model with multiple overlapping objectives, thematic strands and collaborations. PUBLICS is a constellation of practices, projects and productions. As such, PUBLICS proposes the term “Public” as always plural—as a concept; as a group of people (imagined, actualized or real); and as a contested spatio-temporal location/discourse in the world. The on-going project strands of PUBLICS are: PUBLICS Library; PUBLICS Talks; and PUBLICS Events and Performances. These initiatives will evolve in time and in parallel with the project’s longer-term curatorial programmes, PUBLICS Public Art Commissions. IN @publicsfi FB @Publicsfi W www.publics.fi
DEHLIA HANNAH is a philosopher and curator, and currently Mads Øvlisen Postdoctoral Fellow in Art and Natural Sciences in the Department of Chemistry and Biosciences at Aalborg University-Copenhagen. She received her PhD in philosophy and certificate in feminist inquiry from Columbia University in 2013, with specializations in philosophy of science and aesthetics. Her recent book A Year Without a Winter (2018) reframes contemporary imaginaries of climate change by revisiting the environmental conditions under which Frankenstein was written and the global aftermath of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora. As a curator, her exhibitions and artistic collaborations explore how emerging science and technology inform the aesthetic contestation of ideas of nature. Past exhibitions include ‘Placing the Golden Spike: Landscapes of the Anthropocene’, ‘Control: Experiment, and Dressing in a World of Endless Rainfall’. She is editor of Julius von Bismarck — Talking to Thunder (2019) and Julian Charrière—Toward No Earthly Pole (2020), and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Art and Science and Technology Studies (2021). Her current research and curatorial project An Imaginary Museum of Philosophical Monsters, issuing in a monograph and a web-based exhibition, foregrounds the role of images in philosophical reasoning.

JULIAN CHARRIÈRE is a French-Swiss artist, living and working in Berlin. Charrière explores ideas of nature and its transformation over deep geological as well as human historical time. Addressing pressing matters of ecological concern, his work frequently stems from fieldwork in remote locations with acute geophysical identities, such as volcanoes, ice fields, oil palm plantations, and undersea and radioactive sites. An ongoing reflection upon the mythos and politics of the exploration in a globalized age is central to his practice. Working across media and conceptual paradigms, Charrière frequently collaborates with composers, scientists, engineers, art historians, and philosophers. His work often provokes, inviting critical reflection upon cultural traditions of perceiving, representing, and engaging with the natural world. A former student of Olafur Eliasson and a participant in the Institute for Spatial Experiments, Charrière graduated from the Berlin University of the Arts in 2013. His artwork has been the subject of solo exhibitions at MAMBo Bologna, Parasol Unit London, MASI Lugano, Dallas Museum of Art, Aargauer Kunsthaus, among others. His work has been featured in the 57th Biennale di Venezia, The 1st Antarctic Biennale, the 12th Biennale de Lyon, and the Taipei Biennale. Group exhibitions include Thyssen Bornemizsa Art Contemporary, Kunsthalle Wien, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne, Centre Culturel Suisse, Centre Pompidou, Martin-Gropius-Bau and SCHIRN Kunsthalle Frankfurt.
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