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  • Losing Ground in a “no knowledge zone”: Pierre Huyghe’s Antarctic Journey that wasn’t

Curran, Fiona, 2017, Journal Article, Losing Ground in a “no knowledge zone”: Pierre Huyghe’s Antarctic Journey that wasn’t Kritische Berichte, 45 (2). pp. 28-35. ISSN 0340-7403

Abstract or Description:

This article was a contribution to a special edition on the theme of 'Post Nature'. It highlights the importance of speculative thought in relation to expanded notions of ecological practice.

In 2005 the artist Pierre Huyghe embarked on a journey to a “no knowledge zone” in search of a mythical white albino penguin said to reside in Antarctica. The trip was recounted in an essay published in Artforum magazine, restaged as a musical event in Central Park, New York, and later became a film presented as part of a gallery-based installation. These multiple temporal and material framings are explored in relation to the original site of the work’s unfolding in Antarctica and the continent’s fluctuating natural, legal and cultural histories.
The paper explores Antarctica’s symbolic significance within mythic constructions of space, territory and systems of knowledge production that appeal to ‘Nature’ as an enduring and monolithic background to ‘Culture’. Within this highly coded environment at the leading edge of science and international power struggles, Huyghe’s journey and notion of “no-knowledge zones” takes on a particular significance. The dissolving ground of ice acts as a metaphor for the loss of ‘Nature,’ which, far from resulting in catastrophe, instead opens a space for new encounters to form and enriched ecologies of knowing/being to emerge.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Material
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 09:48
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2017 09:48
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2896

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