The group exhibition Sex Ecologies explores gender, sex, and sexuality in the context of ecology. The exhibition is founded in the belief that environmental and social justice go hand in hand. Through a transdisciplinary approach, the exhibition critiques understandings of nature, gender, sexuality, and race that attempt to objectify and naturalize them. For example, “laws against nature” used to criminalize queer sexuality, and in many places still do. These norms are justified through evolutionary narratives exclusively permitting heterosexual reproduction. Everything that does not fit this norm is considered unhealthy, polluted, or “degenerate.” These norms have proven detrimental to humans and to the thing we call nature alike.
Sex Ecologies presents newly commissioned works by nine artists made specifically for the exhibition! The works address surrogacy and male pregnancy, the connections between the hair of a Black girl as she is coming of age and the roots of trees, ecological BDSM with toxicity and microplastics, productive contamination in oysters, mythologies centered on the Greenlandic mother of the sea, the connectivity between a human body and the Nidelva river while láibmat (drifting in North Sámi language), an immersive microbial dancefloor, the trade routes from Cameroon to the banlieues of France of the safou fruit, or the shipworms eating away at Christopher Columbus’s ships as decolonial agents.
The nine artists participated in regular online meetings to workshop their artworks with the exhibition curators and with each other. The process was accompanied by an advisory board for cross-pollination composed of researchers from disciplines like gender studies, environmental humanities, communications, and Indigenous studies. This methodology is unusual for group exhibitions, where artists mostly work alone and do not meet until the opening. We are looking forward to show you what has become our most extensive group exhibition to date on 9 December!
Stefanie Hessler, director
Prerna Bishnoi, project manager
Carl Martin Faurby, program curator and production manager
Katrine Elise Pedersen, curator and producer
Kaja Waagen, assistant curator and communications coordinator
The Seed Box:
Katja Aglert, artistic leader and co-director The Seed Box
Informal Advisory board:
Tarsh Bates, honorary research fellow, SymbioticA, University of Western Australia
Jesper Olsson, Professor, Department of Culture and Society, Linköping University
Eva Lövbrand, PhD and Associate Professor, Department of Thematic Studies: Environmental Change, Linköping University
Libe García Zarranz, Associate Professor of Literature in English, Department of Teacher Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Hanna Musiol, Associate Professor of English, Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Marietta Radomska, PhD and Assistant Professor in Environmental Humanities, Gender Studies, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University
Amanda Fayant, artist and Research Associate, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
The public program is curated by RAW Material Company.
The center for art, knowledge and society RAW Material Company in Dakar, Senegal is curating the exhibition's public program in Trondheim, building on their previous project Who Said It Was Simple (2014 and ongoing) discussing difference, minority and margins with an emphasis on sexuality in Senegal and Africa today.
A book co-published with The MIT Press with over fifteen newly commissioned texts from the fields of gender studies, environmental humanities, science and technology studies, Indigenous studies and more, will further contextualize the research and plant a seed for future work in the field. The book is supported by Arts Council Norway.
Sex Ecologies is founded in a collaboration between Kunsthall Trondheim and The Seed Box – an environmental humanities collaboratory. Made possible through generous support from The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra) and the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Formas) through The Seed Box programme.