Reading By Osmosis
Nature interprets Us.
The culture/nature dichotomy isn’t as self evident as has long been held. If culture and nature can no longer be seen as opposites, what’s to keep us from stretching things a little bit further, and proclaim nature to be capable of art, of authorship?
Reading by Osmosis is a research project by artist and curator Semâ Bekirović. It focusses on artworks made by non-human artists: works made by animals, trees, the wind, and other entities and processes. Reading by Osmosis especially focuses on works that are inspired by the human domain, or employ humans or man-made objects as tools and material. The objects range from a muddy plastic Madonna, survivor of the earthquake in Haiti, to a nest consisting of clothes hangers made by an inventive Tokyo crow.
For this project, Semâ Bekirović, who has been known to collaborate with natural phenomena within her own art practice, tries to steer clear of her usual role of author/artist. As curator she provides the works with context, hoping to start a discussion about authorship. Nature clearly doesn’t care all that much about us. It is always ready to upend our familiar world. Different natural processes employ different means towards this end, engendering different aesthetics. An aesthetics that surprisingly often reminds us of contemporary art works. It’s clear that it’s not just us who interpret nature, but nature itself that interprets us.