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Soil Sessions

Amasar y endulzar la tierra:
A kneading-lecture with Juliana Steiner

Saturday, December 16, 2023, 1–2:30 pm or 3:30–5 pm, Dia Chelsea

Event details
Saturday, December 16, 2023
1–2:30 pm or 3:30–5 pm

Dia Chelsea
537 West 22nd Street
New York, New York

Free. Spaces are limited; register for the 1 pm program here or the 3:30 pm program here.

In conjunction with Delcy Morelos: El abrazo, Dia presents Soil Sessions, an iterative series of interdisciplinary activations, poetic responses to, discursive reflections on, and embodied engagements with the earth as subject and material in Morelos’s work. These public programs, presented throughout the run of the exhibition, invite sustained engagement with the commission through a variety of lenses.

During each session, curator and researcher Juliana Steiner will guide participants through the making of sweetened “soil cookies” as offerings of gratitude to the earth. Created in conversation with the artist, Steiner will discuss the recipe and the ingredients’ important properties, and how Morelos has integrated notions of offerings into current and past projects.

Participants will be asked to use organic materials during the program. If you have questions or concerns about allergies, please contact info@diaart.org.

Juliana Steiner is an independent curator and researcher from Bogotá, Colombia. She is interested in interdisciplinary practices in contemporary art that incorporate social sciences, pedagogy, architecture, and long-term projects with communities. Her research focuses on more-than-human species, environmental justice, and the transformations of landscapes. She curated Ecotone: Chagras, Payaos, Camellones in Colombia, one of the three international Network Projects included in Common Ground, the 2022–23 edition of the Fisher Center LAB Biennial at Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson. As a member of entre—ríos, a “confluence of projects that explores continuities between bodies of water and human bodies,” Steiner has worked on the upper basin of the Bogotá River, rethinking this body of water as a subject that transforms landscapes and shapes memory. She is the co-founder and artistic director of La Reserva Guatoc, a multidisciplinary residency in Barichara, Colombia, that seeks to create critical thinking through experimental forms in a cross-territorial dialogue between Latin America and the Caribbean. She has also co-founded Espacio Odeón, a contemporary arts center housed in an abandoned landmark movie theater in Bogotá’s city center. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts and a BA in Business Management from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, and an MA in Arts Administration from New York University. Steiner has taught as an adjunct professor at the Universidad de Los Andes School of Architecture and is currently a Fellow at the Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College. 

To knead and to sweeten the earth / Amasar y endulzar la tierra

The earth, mystery, womb, origin, life, and food.
We receive without thanking, in oblivion and ignorance; we cut, destroy, damage mother matter.
The invitation: To sow the intention of protecting earth and all its manifestations of life.
The result: The harvest of this intention will be cookies of fertilized earth, carriers of seeds (life).
The activity: Knead the earth and moisten it with water, caress it with your hands, soften it and sprinkle it with honey and with offering. Perfume it with gratitude and memory, also add cloves, cinnamon. Finally, the cookie will be fertilized with the seed of life (the secret touch).
The earth heals and transforms the living in different ways: it will be a seed, it will be a plant, it will be a flower, it will be pollen, it will be food, it will be a memory, it will be the spoken word. We embody all these forms of life.

La tierra, misterio, útero, origen, vida y alimento.  
Recibimos sin agradecer, en el olvido y la ignorancia; cortamos, destruimos, dañamos la madre materia. 
La invitación: Sembrar la intención de proteger la tierra y todas sus manifestaciones de vida.
El resultado: La cosecha de esta intención será galletas de tierra fertilizada, portadoras de semillas (vida). 
Actividad: Amasar la tierra y humedecerla con agua, acariciarla con las manos, ablandarla y rociarla con miel y con ofrenda. Perfumarla con agradecimiento y memoria, también agregar clavos, canela. Por último, la galleta se fertilizará con la semilla de vida (el toque secreto).   
La tierra sana y transforma lo vivo de diferentes maneras: será semilla, será planta, será flor, será polen, será alimento, será recuerdo, será palabra. Encarnamos todas estas formas de vida.

—Delcy Morelos and / y Juliana Steiner

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