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The Wordless Forest

Works by Lucia Veronesi (IT)
Curated by Claudio Zecchi and Paolo Mele, Ramdom (IT)
The Hannah Ryggen Centre, Ørlandet Culture Centre
11 May – 2 June 2024

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Welcome to the exhibition opening Saturday 11 May at the Hannah Ryggen Centre, Brekstad.

15:00 Opening

15:30 Artist talk between Lucia Veronesi and Anne-Karin Furunes

The opening is open for everyone, and does not require a ticket. 


The kind support of Sparebankstiftelsen SMK allows us to offer 40 professional artists and art students a ride to Ørlandet at a significantly reduced price.

THE WORDLESS FOREST

Women have known the uses of herbs for medical purposes since ancient times, but their knowledge of plants has not been properly recognised in the history of the botanical sciences. While scientific knowledge was reserved for men until the Middle Ages, new possibilities opened for women in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: for the first time, they could access education and, in rare cases, travel to train themselves. In the nineteenth century, the first manuals for aspiring      travelling researchers began to circulate, with instructions on the collection of archaeological finds, on scientific observation, and on the cataloguing of populations, animals, and plants. Some women travelled across Europe, Asia, and Africa for these purposes, but their scripts and memoirs were rarely mentioned in the bibliographies of travellers of those times. Their contributions to scientific knowledge were removed.

Arguably, a comparable eradication is happening in the botanical field today, in reference to indigenous populations’ knowledge of medicinal plants. Indigenous peoples have traditionally passed on their knowledge of medicinal plants orally, and the plants’ names and pharmaceutical capacities are closely related to their specific languages. A study from the University of Zurich concludes that 30% of indigenous languages will disappear by the end of our century.* When the indigenous languages disappear, the knowledge of plants and their functions will disappear with them. In that sense, language loss may be as critical to the extinction of medicinal knowledge as biodiversity loss.

Italian artist Lucia Veronesi’s project La desinenza estinta (The Extinct Desinence) was born as a broad reflection on the relationship between the history of science in its female declinations, the field of botany, the extinction of languages, and their socio-political implications. The project has developed through a research phase, in which the artist visited the British Library, Wellcome Collection Library, Kew Gardens Library and Chelsea Physic Garden in London; The National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Trondheim and the Hannah Ryggen Centre in Ørlandet; the Botanical Garden and the Herbarium at the University of Zurich, where Veronesi collaborated with Professor of biology Rodrigo Cámara-Leret and ecology Professor Jordi Bascompte. The result of the project is a publication, textile works, a video, and collages, which will be exhibited in four different solo exhibitions during 2024, at MOCA, London, the Hannah Ryggen Centre at Brekstad, Ørlandet, outside Trondheim, Ca’Pesaro, Venice, and KORA, Puglia.

The exhibition The wordless forest, the part of the project La desinenza estinta (The Extinct Desinence) presented at the Hannah Ryggen Centre in May, will present a monumental digital jacquard tapestry, a stop motion video, and a selection of collages – works that in a poetic way revolve around the socio-political aspects that stand at the core of this project – seeking to establish a link with Hannah Ryggen as a female artist with deep knowledge about the characteristics and capacities of plants, and with her idea of textile as a political medium. On view at the Hannah Ryggen centre is also objects that belonged to Ryggen – like her loom and the pot used for dyeing – and her tapestry Vår. Ørland (1956).

* R. Cámara-Leret and J. Bascompte, “Language extinction triggers the loss of unique medicinal knowledge”, PNAS 118/24 (June 2021), ed. B. L. Turner.

PARTICIPANTS

Lucia Veronesi is a visual artist living and working in Venice. Among her most recent solo exhibitions are Da sola nel bosco at D3082 Art Gallery, Venice (2023), and È successo il mare at Fondazione Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare (2020). Group shows include De Rerum Natura, Circolo degli ufficiali della Marina, Venice (2022); A Bartebly, Galleria Alberta Pane, Venice (2021); Sta come torre, Museo Castromediano, Lecce (2020); Libere tutte, Casa Testori, Novate Milanese, Milan (2019); For Heaven's Sake. 4th Jerusalem Biennale (2019). Her films have been screened at numerous national and international festivals, including 32.TFF, Torino Film Festival; MUFF 10. Montréal Underground Film Festival, Proyector 6th International Video Art Festival, Spain; Facade Video Festival, Bulgaria. In 2023, she won the 12. edition of Italian Council with the project The Exctint Desinence. 

Claudio Zecchi is the Artistic Director and curator of Ramdom and KORA. He has curated and produced exhibitions and residency programs on a national and international scale. Among them are Gaia Di Lorenzo, Offendicula (2024), Driant Zeneli, Short Fairy Tales for Adults (2023); At the South of Mars (2023), in collaboration with Fondazione Elpis, Milan; Luigi Coppola, ExSitu (2021); Céline Condorelli, Tools for Imagination (2020); and Emilio Vavarella, rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me) (2019).

Paolo Mele is the director of Ramdom since 2011. He is now director of Kora – Contemporary Arts Center and President of STARE, Italian network of artistic residencies. He was Project Manager for the Foundation Matera – Basilicata 2019. As an expert in cultural management and media, he has worked for the Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM) and with several international organizations. He has been a researcher in Communication and New Technologies at IULM in Milan and a visiting researcher at the New School of New York.

Ramdom is an association committed to cultural and artistic production. It aims to design and create contemporary art projects on an international scale. Main activities are exhibitions, public art productions, residencies, workshops and live performances. Ramdom is a winner of the 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th editions of the Italian Council with projects by artists Emilio Vavarella (2019), Céline Condorelli (2020), Luigi Coppola (2021) and Lucia Veronesi (2023). From July 2021 the association manages KORA, a space for contemporary art production and research, situated in approximately 1600 square meters within the historic walls of Palazzo De Gualtieriis. It hosts a museum with both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a library, creative and educational workshops and artistic residences. From 2022 Ramdom has been admitted to the public fund FUS 2022-24 in the field of music with the project Ogni Altro Suono. Ramdom is a Cultural Institution recognized by the Ministry of Culture. Ramdom is one of the founders of STARE, the association of Italian artist residencies.

Anne-Karin Furunes is a Norwegian visual artist also trained as architect, and a professor at NTNU Trondheim Academy of Fine Art. Among recent solo exhibitions are Visiting, Vigelandsmuseet, Oslo (2024); All Most: Paintings of Svalbard, Ryan Lee, New York (2023/24); To the lighthouse (with Hanne Friis), Hå gamle prestegård (2023); Reassembling Reality, Galleri K, Oslo and Galerie Anhava, Helsinki (2022); and Plissé, Stiftsgården/National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Trondheim (2021). Her works are in the collections of institutions like The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; Trondheim Art Museum; Arts Council Norway; KIASMA Finland; Museo Palazzo Fortuny, Venice; and MAD Museum, New York. Furunes has realised public art commissions both nationally and internationally, for instance in Nye Nasjonalteateret metro station, Oslo; Deutsche Bank/Foster Building, Sydney; Umedalen Sculpture Park; and Borås Sculpture Park.

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    Lucia Veronesi. Olga Aleksandrova Fedchenko (The Extinct Desinence), 2024.Collage on paper, 32 x 23,8 cm. Photo credit Francesco Allegretto.

The Extinct Desinence is a project curated and produced by Ramdom (IT). It is realised in collaboration with The National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Trondheim, Norway); with the support of the University of Zurich - Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany and Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (Zurich, Switzerland); Goldsmiths University (London, UK); Italian Cultural Institute, Oslo; and Ca' Pesaro - Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna (Venice, Italy) – the museum of destination of the work.

The project is made with the support of Collezione Luca Bombassei.

The project is supported by the Italian Council (12th Edition, 2023), program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

How to get there:

  • Hannah Ryggen-senteret

Travelling from Trondheim? Tak the ferry (number 800/805) from Trondheim Hurtigbåtterminal to Brekstad (about 1 hour). 

Museum24:Portal - 2024.06.11
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