upcoming and ongoing projects and exhibitions:
DDW2021 16-24 October, Eindhoven
verb – to change chemically through the action of living substances, such as yeast or bacteria, or to use a substance to produce a chemical change.
noun – a state of confusion or excited expectation, esp. because of suddenly changing conditions.
Ruchama Noorda’s bio-based landscape interventions are rooted in a centuries–old underground tradition that links medieval occult practices/fermentation processes to the early C20th back–to–nature Lebensreform Movement, the ‘60s and ‘70s Land Art/hippy counterculture and contemporary anti-growth environmentalism. For the DDW Noorda presents a further iteration of Tumulus, a one-room meditation hermithut erected on a wild growth garden mound that currently sits in front of the Sluisdeurenloods at the Mediamatic Biotope in central Amsterdam.
As with the earlier work, the installation in the Hara Hachi Bu Village foregrounds fermentation as a living microorganic agent in the brewing of the glazes Noorda uses to coat the ceramic works clustered round the repurposed garden shed. The glaze combines the four composite ingredients- sugar, yeast, flour and water- that stand at the beginning of agrarian civilization and today may augur its downfall. For thousands of years through the magic of mutual contamination the ebullient sugar/yeast/flour/water brew has facilitated the explosive growth of human populations through the reliable delivery of dietary staples like bread and beer.
In Claude Levi-Strauss’s ‘culinary triangle’ the crucial third category mediating between nature (the Raw) and culture (the Cooked) is the Rotten – the process of ‘natural’ decomposition whereby biodegraded foodstuffs (e.g. cheese,pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso) get broken down by enzymes produced by living organisms. In the current ferment in which we find ourselves today when the fundamental viability of our collective way of life is on all sides placed in question, the rotten can function both as symptom and as cure. Noorda’s Ferment installation for DDW has elements of both– both grieving and the possibility of redemption– the bony ceramics threaded like totems or bits of bread on scaffold poles, the work shed with the unclosed door: an acknowledgement of necessary limits and open endings.
Is it possible to be a revolutionary and like flowers?
10 Sep – 19 Dec 2021 / Exhibition@Nest
Lily van der Stokker
The artists in this exhibition answer the question of the exhibition title with a resounding “YES!”. They show that the flower as a symbol can seduce, comfort, heal, adorn and distract, and find common ground in feminist affinities, queer desires and ecological solidarity. But flowers can also represent a form of oppression and censorship, a secret language, a wink and a punch all in one.
‘Is it possible to be a revolutionary and like flowers’ is an exhibition diptych with the Centraal Museum (Laurie Cluitmans and Eva Burgering) where ‘The Botanical Revolution’ is being shown simultaneously.
Circadian Power Plant, Nest, Den Haag, photos: Charlott Markus
In October I’m joining in the exhibition
The Great Invocation
04.09 – 07.11.2021
curated by: Pádraic E. Moore
‘The Great Invocation refers to the mantra allegedly received by British writer Alice Bailey from a spirit guide in 1945, as the last battles of WWII ravaged Europe. Bailey described The Great Invocation as a synthesis of meditation, prayer, and affirmation, that would assist the world in times of unprecedented calamity, thus ‘saving humanity from self-destruction’…
With work by Mikala Dwyer, Bertus Jonkers, Madge Gill, Jan Kervezee, Marc Lamy, Leo Luccioni, Ruchama Noorda Sharon Overmeiren, Ewoud van Rijn, Linder Sterling, Emma Talbot and Suzanne Treister. The exhibition is accompanied by the in-depth program Brandstof with a performacne by Ruchama Noorda and a lecture by Tessel M. Bauduin.
RX Receiver Platform PowerPoint performance
Digital landscapes are projected onto a screen. Placed before it, plants and stone pigments are strewn across a built platform. We are watching a PowerPoint presentation, a format native to corporate offices and academic institutions, the stuff of proposals and sales pitches, presentations and lectures. Hijacking this format for higher spiritual purpose, Ruchama Noorda is an artist whose work is deeply concerned with healing, nature, and the mythologies of alternative medicine as absorbed by the counterculture. This performance-based work is titled Rx, or ℞, an abbreviation used in medicine and pharmacology, communicating which drugs a patient has been prescribed. Derived from the Latin word ‘recipe’, ‘to take’, the same two letters occur in electronics, where it refers to the ‘receiver’.
Noorda’s practice draws upon ‘Lebensreform’, a late 19th- and early 20th-century social reform movement that rejected the rapid advances of industrialisation and urbanisation, advocating instead for vegetarianism, organic farming, sobriety and naturopathy. Lebensreform also turned to spiritual philosophies, including yoga and theosophy, for alternative models of living. Possibly due to the emigration of some of its practitioners to California in the mid-20th Century, the ethos of Lebensreform seems to have shaped or inspired the ‘hippie’ counterculture that emerged in the 1960s. Noorda’s practice draws upon the teachings and ritual practices of these movements, seizing digital means of presentation to offer a “faith-based praxis ritual” or live invocation of spiritual wisdom—all the while complicating the binary thinking which sets the corporate in opposition to the counterculture in the first place.
Photography: Aad Hogendoorn
This spring and summer are all about fire, tar, and substances transformed by the heat of the fire. The hermits’ shelter on the Tumulus is painted black with wood tar. This is an ancient way of preserving wood and protecting it from rotting processes. Meanwhile, earthen clay turns into ceramics in a kiln and is glazed on the bank in front of the barn. Ruchama brings the elements together in a ceramic-wood sculpture that will gradually appear on the Tumulus garden over the next few weeks. During the celebration, more elements will be created and added.
Tumulus is an enclosed garden installation that functions as a natural ruin, compost heap, soil sculpture, seedbed, earthwork, dyeing source, and dunghill. Over the course of several seasons from June 2019 onwards, artist Ruchama Noorda transforms the patch of greenery next to our Sluisdeurenloods into a living sculpture and performance site.
Spring update Tumulus garden Cycli :
In late July and early August 2020 an ornamental hermitage built from compacted earth-bags and discarded home improvement detritus (collected on the streets during the pandemic) was constructed at the centre of the Tumulus, slightly sunk into the earth.
This one-person hide-out and end times shelter is fronted by a door with a two-way peephole. Here in the city centre, visitors were invited to step back, turn in, turn off and savour solitary time. The tumulus hut is a place of contemplation, introspection and retreat: an opportunity for a re-set.
The Receiver on top of the shelter is connecting to a higher and lower realm and the invisible waves that surround us. A new cycle of growth and decay is coming up at my Tumulus garden and I’m preparing a new sculptural intervention with clay and tar.
I made a bronze public Kabouter monument at Spui in the city centre and on Ruigoord:
‘Many years have passed since the Gnomes first showed themselves in Amsterdam. Their prophetic warnings have stood the test of time. What Frank Zappa and the Kabouters in the 70s called “plastic people” – humans cut off from Nature, molded from the outside by cheap goods and advertising are now stuffed full of microplastics that are carried on the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Today’s global agribusiness and fossil fuel industries are locked into a vicious cycle of overproduction, resource depletion and environmental devastation. Rather than simply denouncing disaster capitalism, the Kabouters helped pioneer direct action alternatives: getting involved in Amsterdam’s municipal government, squatting empty buildings to counter homelessness and rising rents, creating alternative distribution networks for pesticide-free produce, setting up Knetter shops providing cheap second-hand clothing, organic fruit and vegetables…’
read my Essay on the kabouters: http://www.ruchama.com/kabouter-magies/
follow the kabouters! https://www.instagram.com/kabouters.nu/
Ornamental Hermitess, Ruchama Noorda, 2020 photography: Victoria Ushkanova
Opening of Tumulus Hermitage
On September 21st, 2020 on the evening leading up to the Autumn Equinox, Ruchama Noorda will perform a ceremony to mark the occasion using extracts from the planted woad. The performance will take place in front of the Sluisdeurenloods.
In July and early August 2020, an ornamental hermitage built from compacted earth-bags and discarded home improvement detritus collected on the streets during the pandemic, was constructed at the centre of the Tumulus, slightly sunk into the earth.
This one-person hide-out and End Times shelter is fronted by a door with a two-way peephole. Here, in the city centre, you are invited to step back, and savour solitary time at the moment when light and dark are in the balance. The Tumulus hut provides an opportunity for a re-set – a place to pause, turn inward and prepare for what is coming…
The Tumulus Hermitage will be open to the public from 19:00 hours.
At 20:30 sharp Noorda’s performance will begin.
The ceremony is scheduled in tandem with Maia Lyon Daw’s performance/installation: Stealing Minutes Back/ Sacred City
Read more about the installation https://www.mediamatic.net/en/page/374473/tumulus
What will the post-Covid-19 world look like? What are the challenges, what opportunities will arise? In March 2020 the Oude Kerk joined forces with Mister Motley, the online magazine that links the visual arts to life. Together they invited 16 artists to respond to questions raised by the Covid-19 crisis. Their contributions, in the form of short films that were presented in an online project called The World After, clearly radiate the combination of insecurity and optimism that characterized the lockdown period. Jointly, the videos paint a telling picture of the unusual spring of 2020. When the world came to a grinding halt in March 2020, the Oude Kerk together with Mister Motley invited artists to reflect on the situation.
The World After: Conversation Pieces is the post-lockdown sequel to The World After. The title of the project is taken from an article that historian Yuval Noah Harari wrote for The Financial Times in March. He predicted a dilemma: we can either return to the supposed normal, or face the problems of our world and embrace change and innovation. The videos have been installed throughout the church; visitors get to discover this new layer while they are exploring the historic building and its stories.
Aimée Zito Lema, Children of the Light, Geo Wyeth, David Helbich, Germaine Kruip, Hans van Houwelingen, Iswanto Hartono, Marc Mulders, Marinus Boezem, Madelon Hooykaas, PolakVanBekkum, Ruchama Noorda, Sarah van Sonsbeeck, Smári Róbertsson, Stéphanie Saadé, Yair Callender.
‘Press ESC To Return To World View’ video-painting installation 2020
27.06. 2020— 26.09.2020
2020 A COLLECTIVE PROJECT BY AMSTERDAM BASED ARTISTS: Over twenty-five artists have been working at Rozenstraat’s space in the last months to independently create a Gesamtkunstwerk inspired by the already mythic year 2020….see this unique project in progress….based on ‘the unknown’ and a deliberate lack of control as its guiding principles…2020 can be regarded as a time-document of an unprecedented period..
Participating artists so far are: Tyna Adebowale, Salim Bayri, Koen Doodeman, Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Marije Gertenbach, Gluklya, G. Lucas Going, Ehsan ul Haq, Rosa Johanna, Juliacks, Irene Kopelman, Marijn van Kreij, Raul Marroquín, Maria Mazzanti, Vika Mitrichenko, Yitzhak Izek Mizrahi, Francisco Mojica, Ruchama Noorda, Thierry Oussou, Ian Page, Alejandro Ramírez, Martín La Roche, Praneet Soi, Lily van der Stokker, Iqra Tanveer, Maxim Tyminko, Evi Vingerling, Tchelet Pearl Weisstub, Tatyana Yassievich and Dan Zhu. Contributions by Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Michiel Hilbrink, Lucas Huikeshoven, Wjm Kok, Eva Pel, Arefeh Riahi, Kathrin Schlegel, Lara Verheijden and many more are yet to come!
Watch the video of my UCSB Spring Arts Colloquium talk click here>>
07.12.2019 — 16.02.2020
9KG DE OXIGÉNIO
I’m showing an installation @Galeria Municipal do Porto with Uma Certa Falta de Coerência in Porto, Portugal. A group exhibition with:
Babi Badalov, Daniel Barroca, António Bolota, Camilo Castelo Branco, Merlin Carpenter, Rolando Castellón, June Crespo, Luisa Cunha, Stephan Dillemuth, Loretta Fahrenholz, Pedro G. Romero, Dan Graham, Alisa Heil, Mike Kelley, Ruchama Noorda, Silvestre Pestana, Josephine Pryde and Xoan Torres.
June 2019 – ongoing
Tumulus is an enclosed garden installation that functions as a natural ruin, compost heap, soil sculpture, seed bed, earth work, dyeing source, and dunghill. Over the course of several seasons from June 2019 onwards, artist Ruchama Noorda transforms the patch of greenery next to our Sluisdeurenloods into a living sculpture and performance site.
Tumulus is a cyclical weed-woad restoration project in several parts:
- Vegetative State
June – mid-July 2019
- Growth Imperative
mid-July – October, with a dedication ceremony on September 13, 2019
- Dormant Lot
November 2019 – February 2020
- Healing Property
March – August 2020
- Blue Monday
celebration of the autumnal equinox, September 21st, 2020
The Tumulus lot is alive with weeds and herbs seeded by the wind or deliberately planted.The woad (lsatis tinctoria) which was planted last year has now (August 2020) been partially harvested and used to make woad dye and root-leaf-and-seed medications. On September 21st, 2020 (Autumnal Equinox/Blue Monday) Noorda will perform a ceremony using extracts from the planted woad.
In late July and early August 2020 an ornamental hermitage built from compacted earth-bags and discarded home improvement detritus (collected on the streets during the pandemic) was constructed at the centre of the Tumulus, slightly sunk into the earth. The public is invited to the opening ceremony on Monday, 21st September 20:00.
This one-person hide-out and end times shelter is fronted by a door with a two-way peephole. Here in the city centre, visitors are invited to step back, turn in, turn off and savour solitary time. The tumulus hut is a place of contemplation, introspection and retreat: an opportunity for a re-set.
Pouches containing a selection of the healing herbs grown on the Tumulus mound will be hung at the entrance and are available for use. Visitors can choose a mix suited to their immediate needs: to counter sadness & loneliness, to channel rage and anger, to listen to their inner voices or to realize their inner wishes, to sink into the ground or to tune out into silence.
The tumulus hut is a place to pause, turn inward, and prepare for what is coming.
You are invited to join artist, Ruchama Noorda for the opening ceremony on the 21st September.
@Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6 Amsterdam