Collaborations , International

Lisbon: Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva, Sensing Salon

The Sensing Salon is a studio practice, conceived by Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva, that expands the image of art beyond objects, events, and discourse to include the healing arts. Through formats that facilitate collaborative studying and experimenting with different practices and tools for reading (e.g. Tarot and Astrology) and healing (e.g. Reiki and Political Therapy), it fosters a form of sociality that attends to our deeply implicated existence. 

At Hangar, Lisbon, the Sensing Salon will assume a two-part format: a private study group and a one-day public symposium.

The four-day study group will gather guests who will take part in the symposium, as well as Lisbon-based artists, activists and intellectuals and will depart from the question that closes Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva’s film Serpent Rain (2016): “what would become of the human being if expressed through the elements?”. A question inspired by the sense that the grip in metaphysics of linearity (and its attendants onto-epistemological descriptors, such as separability and fixity) has on our imagination accounts for the prevalence of violence in modern global existence. The study group will dedicate each day to the study of the human being through one element.  Guests are invited to frame the work on each element and open up some possibilities of rethinking the category of the Human being through their practice and the way it relates to that element. 

The four guests are:

– Air (abstraction, formal cause, interpretation, shape, power as rule): Mark Harris is an academic and former land rights lawyer working on themes related to indigenous rights and water.

– Fire (transubstantiation, final cause, creation, beginning, power as energy): Jota Mombaça is a writer and performer who has worked on the relation between humanity and monstrosity, the end of the world, anti-colonial justice and visionary fiction.

– Earth (motion, generation, material cause, raw material, consolidation, power as oppression):  Kobe Matthys/Agency is an activist and artist whose practices include permaculture and other sustainable methods. 

– Water (Distillation, relation, efficient cause, nutrient, extraction, power as relation): Stacey Ho is a Vancouver-based artist whose work explores intimacy through building relations which may be expressed as infusion as well as writing.

The symposium Toward a Transformative Theory of Justice, will elaborate on the questions that guide the iteration of the Sensing Salon.  Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva will attempt to weave together the elements, our guests’ practices and the ways of thinking about Justice that those open up.

This project is co-commissioned and co-produced in collaboration with Hangar – Artistic Research Center, Lisbon and Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon, as part of KADIST’s three-year project Not Fully Human, Not Human at All curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez.