In the audio clip, curator Malkit Shoshan, above, gives an overview of the exhibition.
The reason I chose the greenhouse as a structure is that it brings forward this tension between care and control. So, in the greenhouse, we seed our seeds and nurture our plants and we take care of them, but at the same time, we detach the seeds from their natural environment and we put them in a very controlled place.
The exhibition explores society’s quest to control women and nature and the resulting environmental degradation. It looks at the historical use of synthetic hormones in women’s bodies and all sorts of techniques and spaces to facilitate accelerated growth and extract natural resources.
The exhibition is basically constructed along four main themes. The first one is reproductive rights, the second one is accelerated growth, the third one is extinction, and the fourth one is compost. Each theme brings together several artworks that create this connection between space and the issues that we explore. And the artworks are diverse. It can be a video work, or it can be a map, or an infographic that illustrates a certain type of story. So, in principle, the way I see the exhibition and the way the exhibition can be read is like a series of snapshots. Each one brings a certain type of idea or an intervention or a certain type of question that addresses the topics that run through the exhibition.
Shoshan is area head of GSD’s Master in Design Studies program’s art, design and the public domain group and founder of the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST), a think tank based in New York and Amsterdam that focuses on architecture, urban planning, design and human rights.
“Since I started studying architecture in Israel, I realized very quickly the relations between politics, ideology, and space,” said Shoshan, who studies the architectural legacies of U.N. peacekeeping missions. “Space is organized usually not by the designers themselves, but according to certain types of policies and an agenda that are set up by the government, by the power structure, by [the] corporate [world]. And so, I always ask, ‘What are our responsibilities as designers, as architects, as planners to understand the consequences of our design?’”
The exhibition is on display until Dec. 20 in the Druker Design Gallery at Gund Hall, GSD.
In additional audio clips below, curator Shoshan talks in more detail about the themes behind several of the pieces in the exhibition.