Stefanie Hessler

Sex Ecologies – Curatorial Talk 

29 April 2022, 6pm

This talk is part of the lecture series »Shifting conditions – working in critical times«
in Cooperation with Kunstbüro der Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg.


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In this talk, Stefanie Hessler discusses the curatorial concept and methodology behind “Sex Ecologies.” This large-scale transdisciplinary research project, exhibition, publication and public program explores pleasure, affect, and the powers of the erotic in human and more-than-human worlds. Arguing for the positive and constructive role of sex in ecology and art practice, “Sex Ecologies” attempts nothing short of reclaiming the sexual from Western erotophobia and heteronormative narratives of nature and reproduction. The artists, writers, curators, and scholars set out to examine queer ecology through the lens of environmental humanities, investigating the fluid boundaries between bodies (both human and nonhuman), between binary conceptions of gender and of nature as separate from culture, and between disciplines. “Sex Ecologies” emerges from a collaboration between Kunsthall Trondheim in Norway and The Seed Box, an international environmental humanities collaboratory located at Linköping University in Sweden.

Stefanie Hessler is a curator, writer, and editor. Her work focuses on ecologies and technology from intersectional feminist and queer perspectives. She is the director of Kunsthall Trondheim in Norway, and the incoming director of Swiss Institute in New York. At Kunsthall Trondheim, she recently co-organized the exhibition “Sex Ecologies” with The Seed Box based in transdisciplinary research and newly commissioned works, and edited the accompanying compendium on queer ecologies, sexuality, and care in more-than-human worlds (The MIT Press, 2021). Hessler was the chief curator of the 17th MOMENTA Biennale titled “Sensing Nature” in Montreal, Canada (2021). Her single-authored book Prospecting Ocean was published by The MIT Press in 2019, and she has edited numerous publications including Tidalectics: Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science (TBA21–Academy and MIT Press, 2018), Frida Orupabo (Sternberg Press, 2021); and Jenna Sutela (Kunsthall Trondheim, Serpentine Galleries, and Koenig Books, 2020).

Caption: Anne Duk Hee Jordan, The Worm – Terrestrial, Fantastic and Wet (2021). Multimedia installation with sculptures, black light, video 12’51”. Dimensions variable, site-specific. Part of the exhibition “Sex Ecologies” at Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway. Commissioned by Urania Berlin e.V, Kunsthall Trondheim and The Seed Box. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Daniel Vincent Hansen