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Jorgge Menna Barreto & Astrida Neimanis

Enzyme Magazine, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2020. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Enzyme Magazine, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2020. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Welcome to join the public presentation by Jorgge Menna Barreto and Astrida Neimanis.


Thursday March 25, 2021, 18:00–21:00 (Stockholm time) ONLINE

Menna Barreto will discuss digestion, translation and modernism. Neimanis will read her text “The body is the site of climate catastrophe”. Both have been invited to think about the limits and possibilities of academic writing for artistic researchers.

The seminar is hosted by Kungl. Konsthögskolan and is part of a series of seminars arranged by Kajsa Dahlberg, Natasha Marie Llorens and Åsa Andersson.

About the seminar:

Jorgge Menna Barreto will speak about Enzyme Magazine, which examines the relationship between the surface of the earth, the surface of the table, and the surface of the page (or land, food, and language). He writes: “Enzymes are not food. But without them, our food would not be assimilated. They are tiny protein compounds that change the structure of what we eat, breaking it down into nutrients, which can finally be absorbed. … Without them, you would not be reading this text. They enable us to see, hear, feel, move, write, digest food and think. Enzymes are companion elements. … It is their entanglement that makes life-supporting reactions possible. After all, you are not what you eat. You are what you absorb.” He will connect this work to much broader concern in his practice with translation and sustainable and ethical site-specific artistic research. 

In Astrida Neimanis’ text, “The body is the site of climate catastrophe,” she grapples with how to feel in the aftermath of the Australia’s Black Summer of catastrophic bushfires in 2019-2020. This disaster was but one immediate touchpoint for ongoing climate catastrophe and the deformed relations of white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy that subtend and fuel it. In her reading of this text and the discussion that will follow it, Neimanis contemplates what it means to write about such discombobulating and unruly feelings and relations, where the demand to narrate, to contain, and to master, are undone by the experience itself. Moreover, through offering an account of her own methodologies and tactics, Neimanis asks participants to join her in conversation about the work of academic writing. How can such writing adequately hold the experiential, the material, and the sensory in a medium that is also, paradoxically, their very abstraction? And, in the face of climate catastrophe, how can such writing rise to the challenge of doing justice to the beings, places, and phenomena we are writing about —a challenge that feels more urgent than ever? 


Jorgge Menna Barreto, Ph.D. is a Brazilian artist and educator. In 2014, he worked on a postdoctoral research project at Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Brazil, where he collaborated with a biologist and an agronomist to study relations between site-specific art and agroecology, centring around agroforestry. In 2020 he completed a second postdoctoral research fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University, England, which led to the work he will present at the Liverpool Biennial in 2021. He has translated numerous authors on site-specificity from English into Brazilian Portuguese, including Miwon Kwon, Rosalyn Deutsche, Hito Steyerl and Anna Tsing. Since 2015, Menna Barreto has been a professor at the Art Department of Rio de Janeiro State University and is now Assistant Professor at the Art Department of UCSC (University of California Santa Cruz).

Astrida Neimanis is a cultural theorist working at the intersection of feminism and environmental change. Her research focuses on bodies, water, and weather, and how they can help us reimagine justice, care, responsibility and relation in the time of climate catastrophe. Her most recent book, Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology is a call for humans to examine our relationships to oceans, watersheds, and other aquatic life forms from the perspective of our own primarily watery bodies, and our ecological, poetic, and political connections to other bodies of water. Additional research interests include theories and practice of interdisciplinarity, feminist epistemologies, intersectionality, multispecies justice, and everyday militarisms. Astrida recently joined UBC Okanagan on unceded Syilx and Okanagan lands.

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Enzyme Magazine, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2020. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Enzyme Magazine, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2020. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Astrida Neimanis. Photo courtesy of the author.
Astrida Neimanis. Photo courtesy of the author.