A Forest of Many Worlds
group exhibition
9 october - 30 october 2021

curated with Domenico Ermanno Roberti and Paula Baeza Pailamilla
with Sarina Scheidegger, Aldir Polymeris, Willimann/Arai, Paula Baeza Pailamilla, Dominik Zietlow and Paloma Ayala

How do we inhabit the forest? We walked in the forest. Under the sun, a storm, and rain, we walked. On soil, mud, and trails, we walked. By river, streams, and puddles, we walked. With plants, animals, and insects, we walked (consciously or unconsciously). We walked for months in the Sihlwald, a forest between the Sihl river and the Albis hills, which for centuries was called the city forest, der Zürcher Stadtwald. The histories of the Sihl Forest are a complex entanglement of human and nonhuman cycles, materialities, and agencies. As we walked in the forest, we touched, played, and narrated with the multiplicity of beings; we enacted multiple relations, perspectives, and temporalities. We walked (with) the forest into being, into question: Which forests carry our languages? Where does the city come from? Which histories does death tell us? What knowledges are embedded in the forest? How are forest beings interconnected? How does the forest animate the river? What does the materiality of water evoke in me? What pleasures do we find in the forest? How can we ground our sensibility? What does our body become in the forest? A Forest of Many Worlds was an attempt to answer such questions - not completely, mostly fragmented. It does not propose to solve these questions but to encourage potential and speculative sensibilities, readings, and connections in more-than-human worlds.

This project was the first iteration of School of the Forest. We spent many hours walking in the Sihl Forest where were be able to hear and learn from Sara Blanco, Thomas Wäckerle, Agustina Atrio and Rebekka Tanner. After months of walking in the Sihl Forest, Dominik, Sarina, Paloma, Nina, Paula, Aldir and Mayumi developed their ideas in this wonderful exhibition. María Ordoñez supported us in so many ways during our sylvan walks. Again, Elena and Adriana were such a great help and as always the best caring hostesses. We are very thankful for the support of School of Commons, Pro Helvetia and Kanton Zürich.

cover image and gallery images by Paula Baeza Pailamilla.
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