Queer Geology

Animal. Vegetable. Mineral. Such segregated taxonomies have allowed for a privileging, particularly in Western cultures, of one entity over another, often to disastrous effect and resulting in current environmental crises and social-political inequalities. As literal material practitioners – as artists and architects that shape and are moved by matter – we acknowledged the inherent theoretical complexity of Western traditions that sought to alienate humans from other materials and entities.

These enriching and ongoing conversations led us (Virginia Mannering and Luca Lana) to seek a working relationship called Queer Geology, a collaboration that seeks to promote a blurring of the geological, ecological, human, and material. This ongoing and fluid project seeks practical, discursive and aesthetic linkages in what were thought to be highly disparate fields.

The more we toiled in our fields, the firmer the common ground.  Overlapping conversations with colleagues and friends from the fields of fine art and architectural practice returned to the work of the material and ecofeminists.  We shared dedication to finding new ways of working, practising, and better acknowledging the material that makes places.

Such an overlap in interest is not surprising given the destructive force of architecture, a concern shared by artists, particularly those working with the extraction of clay and the production of ceramics. Queer Geology was initially conceived as an exhibition and symposium to be held at MADA Gallery, however in person public works were cancelled due to the global pandemic of 2020/2021. The construction of artefacts and the facilitation of multi-voiced events has since morphed into a series of Queer Geology discussions and works distributed – and evolving – via our online testing space, queergeology.com.

The Alastair Swayn Foundation respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians on the land of which we work, the Ngunnawal people of the ACT. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

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