Inmundo: formlessness and the politics of trance at the end of landscape

WhenNovember 12, 2019 5:00 PM
WhereWieboldt Hall, Room 207
Contact InformationCenter for Latin American Studies
DescriptionJens Andermann, New York University

The collapse of a tailings dam at Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, on January 25, 2019, which killed more than two hundred people (with many more still missing) and released 12 million cubic meters of toxic mud into the local ecosystem, is only the latest iteration of what Isabelle Stengers calls "the irruption of Gaia". The deadly mud wave, Andermann suggests, did away not just with the idea of "nature" as an inert repository deposit of extractible matter but also with its aesthetic correlate, the landscape-form. Brumadinho, incidentally, is also home to the Contemporary Art Institute and Botanical Garden of Inhotim, perhaps Latin American largest outdoor art space housing the personal collection of mining magnate Bernardo Paz.

This talk mobilizes the notion of inmundo or the un-world, to reflect about landscape both giving way to, and revealing to have always already been grounded in, the abjection of the Earth. It does so by discussing key instances of Latin American aesthetic and intellectual engagement with the matter and agency of the nonhuman in the twentieth and twenty-first century, including the work of Brazilian artist Adriana Varej√£o and the legacies of literary regionalism.
CategoriesConferences/Lectures, Lectures
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