Ingela Ihrman: We Thrive
Cooper Gallery is pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition of Swedish artist Ingela Ihrman, We Thrive. Drawing upon a poetic absurdism characterised by craft and amateur theatrics We Thrive contests and subverts how we see and interact with nature. Featuring a giant hogweed, intestines, a giant otter giving birth before a human gaze and a toad doing gymnastics, Ihrman's artworks index debates on our complex and problematic relationship with invasive species and the anthropomorphising of the animal kingdom.
Nature, that vast fecund belly from which all things come, including ourselves, is often portrayed, to use the poetry of Tennyson, as being 'red in tooth and claw'. The obverse of this savage image is the depiction of the natural world as 'the great outdoors', a landscape rich in daydreams of play and discovery. However, these fictions which place nature as being diametrically 'other' to culture are, in a contemporary world defined by climate change, practices of re-wilding and conservation, increasingly untenable. It is to this moribund imagery that the work of Ingela Ihrman speaks with an urgent voice on the incontestable condition of nature as the abiding crucible of 'reproduction'.
Encompassing performance, crafted object and moving image, We Thrive is an opportune exhibition in which to rethink how society situates, codifies and relates to the world around us. Developed from research into flora, slime and fertility and her recent fieldwork on the Isle of Eigg, Ihrman's Cooper Gallery exhibition questions the ability to thrive that all life carries; an ability that is governed by and dependent upon not only environmental conditions, but more importantly how culture portrays and understands nature and thus itself.
Rapidly gaining international recognition, Ihrman has in the past few years come to the forefront of a growing and radical reconceptualisation of nature with installations, writing and performances at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (2015), the Tensta konsthall (2016) and at the 11th Gwangju Biennial: The 8th Climate (What does art do?) (2016).
Seen through the lens of ethnobiology, the scientific study of dynamic relationships among peoples, biota, and environments, Ihrman's practice aspires to open up alternative ways of 'being with' the multiple non-human worlds endlessly thriving inside and outside culture. In taking up this position, Ihrman calls for a new politics that is fundamentally invested with a care for what is stereotypically classified as invasive, abnormal and other.
Promoted By: University of Dundee
Wednesday 21st March 2018 10:00am
Thursday 22nd March 2018 10:00am
Friday 23rd March 2018 10:00am
Saturday 24th March 2018 11:00am
Monday 26th March 2018 10:00am
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Friday 30th March 2018 10:00am
Saturday 31st March 2018 11:00am
Monday 2nd April 2018 10:00am
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Thursday 5th April 2018 10:00am
Friday 6th April 2018 10:00am
Saturday 7th April 2018 11:00am
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Wednesday 11th April 2018 10:00am
Thursday 12th April 2018 10:00am
Friday 13th April 2018 10:00am
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