The Earth Is an Artifact, Asad Raza, Emanuele Coccia, δημοσίευση στο Art in America [9/12/2022]Marilena Pateraki
For a recent exhibition called “Diversion,” Asad Raza rerouted the Main River to flow through Kunsthalle Portikus in Frankfurt. Then, he filtered the water to make it drinkable for visitors. The striking intervention by the Buffalo-born, Berlin-based artist was meant to open up questions about distinctions between nature and culture, and to encourage visitors to interact with their everyday environs anew. To discuss the implications of this work and others, Raza met with the philosopher Emanuele Coccia on Zoom. Coccia is an associate professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris whose ecological philosophy explores topics like plants and metamorphoses. Below, the two exchange thoughts about transforming the earth.
EMANUELE COCCIA I visited your show, but I admit that I didn’t drink the water. I had something important the next day, and I didn’t want to risk getting sick!
ASAD RAZA You know, I worked with a hydrologist, and I told him I wanted to clean the river water using very simple instruments that you would have in your kitchen. I asked him, what if I pass the water through a very fine coffee filter, then boil it and add some minerals? He said actually, that would be cleaner than most tap water. So I did it, and then I drank it in front of the whole team at Portikus to show them that it was fine. I was nervous too! But it worked out.