THE THEORY OF LEAVES ~ Program and participants
Four-days program around plants and their surrounding



Santa Zita Institute


Ancona, IT

Looking at plants as model for collaboration among human and non-human spheres and how they affect their environments and viceversa, Theory of Leaves four-days program aims to generate a climate of knowledge through the atmospheric circulation of cohabitation, exploration, distributed and situated learning promoted by artistic and cultural production.


Landing at Mezzavalle beach.

Eli Cortiñas, Approaching an ethnographic Hollywood will highlight the representation of nature in the western sense as animalistic and as a savage creature, exploring the racist myth of the Tarzan film-saga and the western representation of the African continent. Images filmed in an ethnographic manner versus the well lighten film studios where the white cast acts in front of the ethnographical projection build, together with other film fragments its cinematic memory anew.
Nika Kupyrova, Thinking about artists revolves around subjects of originality, imitation, plagiarism and reference in the context of the artist’s ongoing project. In particular it will focus on the theme of “collaboration” (whether conscious or involuntary) and the idea of fluid authorship within artistic practice as well as blurring of the roles between artistic and curatorial approaches.
Belén Zahera, The Blue Room + dialogue with Martina Angelotti. Conceived as a transient reading group, The Blue Room will introduce the participants to a diverse array of textual fragments – from novels to essays and scientific papers - with the purpose of revitalising the role of stories and anecdotes, the art of conversation and its potential for the construction of thoughts.
Sara Giannini, Due Chiacchiere // Two chats is about the irresistible charm of the wild weed of discourse: idle chats, gossips and rumours. What is the impulse of these subterranean, illegitimate, purposeless forms of speech? Why are we compelled to chat non stop when someone is lecturing us? What is the pleasure of gossiping about friends and enemies? What is the connection between Internet chats, cat memes and the idle chat whispered into the ear of your classmate, or uttered through a smile over a cup of tea? What does chatting have to do with the carnival and with art? Some artists, like Ulises Carrion, will help us find out.
Beatriz Olabarrieta, A Quick Public Brain + dialogue with Markéta Stará Condeixa. A Quick Public Brain is a talk, rant, drawing or scan through the artist's (dis)associative visual processes in order to explore the possibility of accessing the “private mind” in front of an audience.

Borbála Soós, Mushrooms as Enablers. How do forests think? Do plants communicate? What are animals dreaming about? Humans live in the connections of a complex system created by other beings. This lecture will use fungi, the forest and the deep sea as metaphors to call upon the imagination, make connections and open up pathways to think about social and organisational structures by looking at how fellow organisms coexists with us. We can perhaps start to understand our evolution as a story of an ongoing cross-contamination, and our bodies as a site of nature in the past, present and future.
Jacopo Miliani, How to be a rope? + dialogue with Gema Melgar. Starting from a series of works based on the rope and its comparison with the strain forces that rule the human body, Jacopo Miliani will lead a workshop where the participants will experiment in a physical way and with some irony the possible and imaginary relationship between the object and the gesture. The rope will not only be an instrument but also the subject and the metaphor in order to transform the body into a shape, whose strain and gravity forces will generate a continuous flexion and reflection.
Laura Huertas Millán, Pharmakon (the remedy and the poison) inspires the presentation around the coca leaf, an Andean deity which has metamorphosed throughout the years into a white industrialised good, the westernised cocaine, a drug that could be depicted as an exhilarating mimesis of the so-called will to power. In the Uitoto Amazonian community, coca is the cultural basis and condition of the social community, and the pillar of a political ritual. My moving-image presentation will consider this double life of coca, through the images and sounds of a feature film to come around the duality of this plant.
Tobias Kaspar, Land Ownership in Anna Karenina. “At the bottom of his heart he felt that is was true–true that he wished to balance between communism and the existing forms of life, and that this was hardly possible.” Lenin in Tolstoi’s Anna Karenina
Antonio Contador, Art at the peak of its withdrawal is a chiaroscuro talk-performance that goes between Heidegger's notion of love and the availability in the being of plants to reflect about the pure and simple waiting. A waiting without any expectation or anticipation that allows an idea of artistic creation as an availability in the being and a notion of art without any doing or knowing how to do, without any owner, hands or gestures.

Grégory Castéra, White Cat. Since 2013, Grégory Castéra, Sandra Terdjman and Tarek Atoui have been investigating Deaf knowledge through workshop, talks, exhibitions, and publications (TACET, Sharjah Biennial, MoMA PS1, Bergen Assembly). Reenacting a utopian music club where the politics of hearing are continuously negotiated, White Cat is a lecture about the various transformations that happened in this research.
Temra Pavlovic, Expanded alternative short portrait made to record continuous time, at hand, by a group is an exercise during which the group will produce audio and drawing material from its immediate surroundings, passing the recording devices amongst one another. The resulting gathered material will exist as an 'alternative portrait' of the group's continuing time at the monastery. The images and sounds could potentially be assembled on a timeline and exported as a container video. Or remain to exist scrambled, in a folder, for our minds to imagine joined.
Expedition at Conero Natural Park with Forestalp Cooperative Society


↖ Laura Huertas Millan, Aequador, 19 mins, 2012. © Laura Huertas Millán - Le Fresnoy
↖ Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit, Istituto S. Zita, Offagna (Ancona, IT)

Surface matters Exhibition with Carlos Fernandez-Pello, Camille Tsvetoukhine and Monica Restrepo at Glassbox, Paris

CHEZ EMMA 2016 roving program of artistic research