The concepts of nature, landscape, and the environment are often framed through our popular culture through narratives that have us conditioned to imagine them in a certain way.
For example, as nature or the environment as a forest covered with trees or a field, and perhaps for those in urban settings, it then becomes somewhere we must travel to get to or an “elsewhere.” haenggi and Melgar actively reconsider our relationship to the concepts of nature, landscape, and the environment as urban dwellers through urban spaces and their practices of embodied practice, movement, social practice and fieldwork, and photography.
Watch the meeting here.
About the Artist
Cesar Melgar was born in Newark, NJ and raised in the Ironbound section, a working class neighborhood. This upbringing as a child of first generation immigrants from Colombia and Peru influences his eye as he turns his lens onto his community that has faced environmental injustice, disinvestment, and now the force of gentrification. His photos capture the poetic nuances of daily life in a city that is often misunderstood by New Jersey’s suburbs and beyond, and especially the media.
andrea haenggi, of Swiss alpine descent, is breathing and working on occupied Lenape and Canarsie lands currently known as Brooklyn in New York City. Calling on plants as guides, teachers, mentors and performers, her dance and somatic ecosocial art/fieldwork practice creates a form of theater called Ethnochoreobotanography, which simultaneously explores issues regarding decolonization, ecology, feminism, power, labor and care. Her work expands beyond the confines of a theater and gallery to connect us to our urban land. She has performed and exhibited locally and internationally and received her latest research residencies as an “embodied scientist” at the Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich, Switzerland (2019) and at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY (2020). andrea holds an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute/Plymouth University UK and is a Swiss Canton Solothurn Dance Prize recipient. In 2017, seeking to expand her practice with spontaneous urban plants (aka weeds), she co-founded the artist/activist collective Environmental Performance Agency (EPA), whose primary goal is to shift thinking around the terms environment, performance, and agency.
The EcoArt Salon is a monthly gathering that is free and open to the public for those interested in EcoArt and the environment to share their projects, discuss issues, network, and collaborate together. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on events and watch our monthly meetings!