Student Lecture Series | Goldin + Senneby: A Thorn in the Side
Friday, April 23, 2021, 6:30 - 8:30pm
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This presentation will be conducted through Zoom. Zoom account registration is required, please register in advance here.
In the winter of 1882, a starfish larvae caught by a fisherman in Messina, Sicily, found itself under a microscope with a thorn in its side. Quite literally. It was a thorn taken from a nearby tangerine tree, introduced under the skin of the starfish. Being devoid of both blood cells and a nervous system, it’s hard for us to imagine what this might have felt like for the starfish, if anything. But the thorn was soon surrounded by mobile cells much like a splinter in a finger would be on a human.
The zoologist on the other end of the microscope identified the insertion of this thorn as an intrusion, and the response in the starfish as a defense, thereby introducing the metaphor of “immunity-as-defense” into biology. And implicitly characterizing life as war by other means in a way which no previous medical theory had done. The later addition of auto-immunity, harks back on this metaphor, suggesting the autoimmune condition as being at war with oneself.
In this artist talk, Goldin+Senneby revisit this meeting of the starfish and the citrus thorn from the perspective of living with an autoimmune condition and a growing discomfort with the very language which frames such a condition. A sense that the metaphors themselves are a thorn in the side.
Goldin+Senneby is a Stockholm-based artist subject. Since 2004 their work has explored the structural correspondence between conceptual art and finance capital, drawn to its (il)logical conclusions. Recent works include a ghostwritten detective novel about an offshore company on the Bahamas (2007-2015), a magic trick for the financial markets (2016) and a proposal for an eternal employment at a train station (2026-). Currently their practice is mutating: Drawing on bodily experiences of an autoimmune disease, they are staging a fiction with an ”autoimmune tree” as the main protagonist.
Solo exhibitions include: ”Insurgency of Life”, e-flux, New York (2019); ”Standard Length of a Miracle”, Tensta konsthall, Stockholm (2016); ”M&A”, Artspace NZ, Auckland (2013); ”The Decapitation of Money”, Kadist, Paris (2010); and ”Goldin+Senneby: Headless”, The Power Plant, Toronto (2008). Their work has been included in the 11th Gwangju Biennial (2016); 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); Manifesta 9, Genk (2012); and 28th Sao Paulo Biennial (2008). They are represented in the collections of Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
This event is free and accessible to the public.