Madeline calls her work Face Nature. She thinks of it as a noun, a verb, and a command. As a noun it describes the work she installs on her face and body: experiments in the meeting of human morphology and non-human nature. Skin and plant matter collide and integrate to create a more mutual subjectivity. It’s also a way to playfully explore human futures. The effects of climate change and increased solar radiation—especially as we advance into space—will require us to make alterations to our skin.
To make this work she regularly forages on hikes and walks and later dissects, studies, and documents her collection. She also embeds herself in trees, hedges, and bark. She calls this facing nature. Madeline promotes a more ethical and sustainable approach to coexisting with nature in the Anthropocene and invites (commands) others to do so as well. She tries to start a movement of environmental integration, touch, respect, and mutuality.
Face Nature is site-specific and time-based. The foraged material has a brief life in art, and then it is returned to the forest. She films and photographs by herself, and occasionally with the help of a daughter or neighbour. Performances, photographic portraits, and moving images are often produced without her ability to see herself.
Madeline Schwartzman is a New York City artist, writer, and educator whose work explores human narratives and the human sensorium through social art, performance, book writing, curating, and video making. Her book See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception (2011) is a collection of futuristic proposals for the body and the senses. See Yourself X: Human Futures Expanded (2018) explores the future of the human head. Her forthcoming book is about hybrids—the intimate interaction between multispecies, human, and non-human entities.
Schwartzman recently had a solo exhibition at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, MA, a residency at Lab Verde in the Brazilian Amazon, and she has an upcoming exhibition at the Re Institute in Millerton, NY. She is a faculty member at Barnard College and at Parsons: the New School for Design.
Friday 26 May 2023
17:00 – 18:00
Friday 26 May 2023
18:00 – 20:00
Workshop Face Nature Amsterdam
What can you find around Amsterdam when you really face nature? Join Madeline Schwartzman to embed the local ecology and landscape of Amsterdam onto your face and body.
Sunday 28 May
Full price €35 | Discount price € 25*
*We give a discount to students, stadspas and artists. If this applies to you we might ask to see your kvk nr/portfolio or student card for this option.
Get your tickets here.