Current Artistic Positions on M/otherhood, Life and Care

Sonia Levy: For the Love of Corals, 2018, video installation

THE CAMILLE DIARIES Symposium discusses new artistic projects by eleven international women and non-binary artists (installations, video, objects, performance), currently exhibited in our exhibition The Camille Diaries. Current Artistic Positions on M/otherhood, Life and Care (28 August – 4 October 2020).

Reflecting on the current conditions of our world (environmental changes, gender aspects, biopolitics, etc.), the artists’ positions propose an ‘aesthetics of care’ as the basis for inter-species coexistence. Here, the planet is understood as a symbiotic web in which we are all entangled with one another (humans, plants, animals, environment) – on molecular, organic, ethical and biopolitical levels. The artistic positions investigate reproductive mechanisms, biochemical connections between humans and nonhumans, and refer to alternative biomaterials as “source of life” in future times of scarcity and crisis. The title “The Camille Diaries” alludes to the “Camille Stories” the final chapter of “Staying with the Trouble” (2016) by philosopher and biologist Donna Haraway, a speculative future where a dwindling human population replaces births with care between species. Each “Camille” cares for the genetic material of an endangered species (the monarch butterfly) by storing parts of that material in their own DNA.

The one-day symposium brings the artists together with researchers from the humanities and natural sciences into a critical dialogue. In different panels we discuss alternative concepts of m/others, wombs and placentas, fluid inheritance and modes of care. We reflect on genetic and biochemical exchanges between human and nonhuman, both part of and remedy for the Anthropocene. Here the theme of biotechnological transfigurations of human bodies places the human being on the periphery and rather directs our full attention to other living beings – a basic understanding of other species and organisms from a feminist perspective. On the basis of the exhibited works, we discuss concepts of “Collective survival” and “Arts of noticing” (A. Tsing), “Staying with the Trouble” (D. Haraway), and in particular “Bodies of water” connected to hydrofeminism (A. Neimanis).

Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz

10:00 – 10:20 CET
Introduction into The Camille Diaries

Regine Rapp (Art History, Curatorial Research, Art Laboratory Berlin)
Christian de Lutz (Curatorial Research, Art Laboratory Berlin)

Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz, Introduction into the CAMILLE DIARIES Symposium

10:20 – 11:20 CET

Moderated by Regine Rapp
Introductory Talk | Q&A with Exhibiting Artists
Astrida Neimanis (Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney)

Keynote | Introductory Talk by Astrida Neimanis

11:45 – 13:15 CET
Panel A | M/others, Wombs and Placentas

Moderated by Tuçe Erel
Cecilia Jonsson (Artist, Amsterdam) – HAEM
Rodrigo Leite de Oliveira (Biomedicine, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam)
Margherita Pevere (Artist, Berlin/ Helsinki) – Wombs
Ai Hasegawa (Artist, Designer, Tokyo) – I Wanna Deliver a Dolphin…

Panel A | M/Others, Wombs and Placentas

14:15 – 15:45 CET
Panel B | Fluid Inheritance

Moderated by Christian de Lutz
Špela Petrič (Artist, Biochemist, Amsterdam/ Ljubljana) – Phytoteratology
Mary Maggic (Artist, Vienna) – Milik Bersama Rekombinan
Laura Benítez Valero (Philosophy, Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Naja Ankarfeldt | Baum + Leahy (Artists, Copenhagen/ London) – Mammalga

Panel B | Fluid Inheritance

16:10 – 17:50 CET
Panel C | Modes of Care

Moderated by Regine Rapp
Sonia Levy (Artist, London) – For the Love of Corals
Stefan Helmreich (Anthropology, MIT Anthropology, Cambridge/ US)
Nicole Clouston (Artist, Ontario) – Mud (Berlin)
Tarah Rhoda (Artist, New York) – Ourglass
India Mansour (Ecology of Plants, Institute of Biology, Free University Berlin)

Panel C | Modes of Care

18:15 – 19:45 CET
M/others and Future Humans

Moderated by Christian de Lutz
Eben Kirksey (Anthropology, Alfred Deakin University, Melbourne)
Final Discussion
Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz (Art Laboratory Berlin)

Final Panel | M/Others and Future Humans

Abstracts and biographies



Date and time

26 September 2020,
10:00am – 7:45 pm CET

Concept of Symposium

Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz


Regine Rapp, Christian de Lutz,
Tuçe Erel, Linus Kaufhold, Palooka Frank, Natacha Lamounier Ribeiro, Ayla Warncke, Tim Deussen

Cooperation partners

The project THE CAMILLE DIARIES arose from a generous invitation to take part in the international curatorial swarm for the open call »M/others and Future Humans«, initiated by Ida Bencke (LABAE,Copenhagen, DK) and Eben Kirksey (Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, USA).

Media partners

AVIVA-Berlin Online Magazin für Frauen

Supported by

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