Adama Delphine Fawundu, Cosmic Echoes, 2023 / Video Still / Courtesy of the artist and Hesse Flatow, New York
The Flesh Of Earth
Feb 1 – Apr 6, 2024
Hauser & Wirth
New York, USA

Curated by Enuma Okoro, The Flesh of the Earth encourages us all to consider ways of decentering ourselves from the prevalent anthropocentric narrative, to reimagine a more intimate relationship with the earth, and to renew our connection with the life-force energy that surges through all of the natural world, both human and more-than-human.

Featuring Ama Codjoe, Olafur Eliasson, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, Haley Mellin, Cassi Namoda, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Billie Zangewa.

“We are unwholly ourselves when we mark stark boundaries between our bodies and that of other non-human bodies of nature. To speak of nature as something that exists apart from us or something merely ‘outside’ is to deny our own creatureliness and our humus-ness. We are part of the environment. We too are of the soil and the elements. Born from the water of the womb, at death we recycle back to the humus of the earth, where living microbes already exist in thriving interrelated communities, and the bodies of plants and animals also return to provide nourishment. There is so much transformative and necessary relational engagement between our beginnings and endings to which we have to return, and in some instances heal”. –Enuma Okoro

[ . . . ]

The exhibition implores us to renew our connection to the fuller natural world by acknowledging our estrangement from it in the first place. At the heart of the exhibition is Rashid Johnson’s living work, Untitled Stranger (2017), which requires the committed relationship from humans to care for it and ensure its sustained life. The immersive sculptural installation invites viewers to circle the work and study the various symbolic objects placed within its stacked, architectural grids. These objects carry deep meaning for the artist; every item points to themes of alienation and escape, and the wistful quest to reconnect with a feeling of belonging and of familiarity.

“The remedy to estrangement is an intentional and caring rekindling of relationship. We must return to thinking of the earth as also imbued with life-force energy as we are, with an aliveness whose health and engagement is essential to our collective well-being. The more-than-human world holds patterns of intimacy that we can learn from and participate in, but which require us to acknowledge and to draw closer to the rest of nature’s own inherent eroticism. It is only in recognizing and honoring the aliveness and sacrality of this world that we can reimagine a new and sustainable kinship”. – Enuma Okoro

The exhibition will also include the poetry of acclaimed author Ama Codjoe, who draws both poignant and striking images with her words, articulating the kind of sensuous and imaginative self-reflection that can stir us to rekindle a necessary intimacy with the more-than-human – again, emphasizing the body as the primary vehicle through which to achieve this.

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