The Garden of Refusal

Saturday April 1st, 2017

Much as a twig might receive sap from a living plant if inserted into the slit of a trunk or stem correctly, this talk is grafted from one onto another, to become new again. Initially formed as a body of research about gardens, death and becoming, Alhena Katsof continues to draw inspiration from the artist Hannah Höch’s material output and her activities during the Third Reich, which include growing plants prohibited by Nazi horticulturalists while simultaneously burying in her garden Dada photomontages banned by the fascist regime. At Rongwrong, we will explore these fugitive, process-oriented events and their relevance today, as artworks and as modes of creative resistance in our troubled, authoritarian times.

Hannah Höch was a central figure during Alhena Katsof’s studies at the Glasgow School of Art, where Katsof began as a collage artist and emerged as an organizer of exhibitions. Katsof first presented material about Höch at the Center for Experimental Lectures in 2013. She co-authored, with Dana Yahalomi, Solution 263: Double Agent, as part of the Solution Series edited by Ingo Neirmann (Sternberg Press, 2015). Her essay about the legendary exhibition Times Square Show (1980) is in the anthology The Artist As Curator, edited by Elena Filipovic (Mousse Publishing, 2017). Katsof is part-time faculty at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

The Garden of Refusal takes place as part of Rongwrongs public program For Fans and Scholars, departing from the exhibition ‘All Heal (Valerian)’ and each time highlighting one aspect of this gathering of works and voices. \\ Made possible with the generous support of the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Mondriaan Fund \\