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In symbiosis

Lecture by Estelle Zhong Mengual and dialogue with Mariona Moncunill

Learning to See


In this session, the art historian Estelle Zhong Mengual, currently professor of the Master in Arts and Politics created by Bruno Latour at Sciences Po, will speak about how the living world is omnipresent in our culture and yet absolutely absent from it and, with the artist and researcher Mariona Moncunill, will discuss the fact that perceiving it as a decoration, a symbol, or support for our emotions are ways of not seeing it.

We have culturally inherited a very particular style of paying attention to living beings. In works of the western artistic tradition, whether pictorial or literary, living beings, if they are present, are mainly there because of something other than themselves. They are there, above all, as a signifier of human meaning, as a symbol or mirror of our emotions. This is a certain way of seeing the living world but, more than anything else, a way of not seeing it since what is missing is the otherness of forms of life that are different from our own. How can we learn to see living beings differently, leaving space for their autochthonous meanings, their history, their behaviour, and their relationships? How can we enter into another way of paying attention to the infinity of non-human beings that inhabit and shape the world we share?

Participants: Estelle Zhong Mengual, Mariona Moncunill

This activity is part of Science Friction, In symbiosis

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In symbiosis

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