Critical Spatial Practice

Our Starter Culture, (2021)
  • Montserrat Gutiérrez Mesegué | London+Zoom

  • 1, Our Starter Culture 2, Our Starter Culture 3, Our Starter Culture 4, Our Starter Culture 5, Our Starter Culture
  • Our Starter Culture, (2021)
  • Montserrat Gutiérrez Mesegué | London+Zoom
  • ‘Now every lemon is infused with the love of my mother. But the lemons do not belong to me, and it brings me great joy knowing that everyone who cuts into a lemon and enjoys its sweet gift is feeling the love of my mother at no expense of her own.’


    Our Starter Culture is a tool that aims to reintroduce empathy to help us approach and be able to operate in a world where a climate crisis exists. The project develops an intersectional pedagogical methodology centred around the creation of empathy, which begins with a participant sharing a remedy through conversation. The gathering of these remedies is a rewriting of the Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis (1552), an Aztec herbal manuscript by Martín de la Cruz and Juan Badiano. 

    The remedies, as zines, can be explored in an online blog https://ourstarterculture.tumblr.com/ that shares resources and thoughts to assist the individual in better understand the climate crisis as an intricate web of social injustices, which draws on the work of adrienne maree brown and Agnes Denes. Through the mediums of the zines and blog, the participants become the audience of the work, inspired by The Reenchantment of Art by Suzi Gablick and Grant H. Kester’s definition of ‘dialogical aesthetics.’

    Ultimately the work aims to question – can we, by looking at the creation of empathy and an ethic of care, begin to view small domestic remedies as revolutionary acts of healing ourselves, our community, and the Earth?


    Biography

    I am an environmentalist and public practitioner who is slightly addicted to crafts. My work explores the role of the individual in relation to Intersectional environmentalism. Informed by feminist ethics of care and alternative public practices, I use conversations and relationships to reframe the climate crisis. My latest project, Our Starter Culture, experiments with the idea of remedies as pedagogical tools to sow, cultivate and harvest empathy in the fight for climate and social justice – which you can view in more detail here: https://ourstarterculture.cargo.site/

    I completed my Undergraduate degree in Architecture at IE University in 2018 and went onto complete an MA in Situated Practice, where I took the site writing module, at UCL in 2020. I will be continuing my studies at UCL by attending the Institute of Education and The Compton School to gain my PGCE in Secondary Art & Design.

    Currently my focus is on finding a community within which I can best serve as an enthusiast of critical theory, crafts, ethics, and pedagogy. So, for now, you can view my work as my partner’s sweater, my best friend’s shirt, and my dog’s blanket.

    https://ourstarterculture.cargo.site/Other-Work


    Practices

    My work is my path to understanding my position in the environmental movement. I am lucky that this work has taken me on the journey of understanding empathy and generosity, first shown to me by my mother and later reinforced by bell hooks, adrienne maree brown, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Suzi Gablik, Carol Gilligan, Joan Tronto, María de Jesús Patricio Martínez and many others. I humbly want to share what has been so kindly shown to me so that we continuously work towards strengthening our relationships as a form of activism.


    Keywords
    Remedy, healing, climate, empathy, herbal, care

    References

    Martín de la Cruz, Emily Walcott Emmart, and Juan Badiano, The Badianus Manuscript: (Codex Barberini, Latin 241), Vatican Library: an Aztec Herbal of 1552 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1940).

    bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (New York: Routledge, 2017).

    Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (London: Penguin Books, 2020).


    Other projects
  • Washing White (2021)
  • Sonic Acts of Noticing (2021)
  • MGM_OurStarterCulture_5
    Our Starter Culture, (2021)
  • The Wandsworth Food Bus, (2020)
  • Progetto Minore. Alla ricerca della minorità nel progetto archiettonico ed urbanistico (2020)
  • 1-DMZ
    Architecture and Co-Existence: DMZ as Site, (2020)
  • Time on Site (2019)
  • Stori Mwd (A Story of Mud), (2019)
  • not nothing (August 2019)
  • Hungry Mothers, En La Frontera (2019 – present)
  • Exchanging Values at Bank (18 October 2019)
  • Cybiog: locating the digital self, (2019/20, 2 mins 45 secs)
  • Civic Pedagogy, learning as critical spatial practice (2019)
  • An Independent and Flexible and Precarious and Overworked Rehearsal, (January – December 2019)
  • An environmental history of La Guajira (2019)
  • A Weird-Tender in progress (2019)
  • Cecilie Sachs Olsen
    A walk in your words (25.01.2019)
  • Portal Zaryadye: A Portal Not Only to Heaven, But Aslo To Hell (24 July – 12 August 2018)
  • Text-isles: sowing an idea, October (2018)
  • Gilly-image-1
    Silent Conversation, (2018 – ongoing)
  • Objects removed for study (2018)
  • Female Futures Lexicon on Space (2018/2019)
  • 5, Big Bang 2 / Mid Graemetruby
    Bank Job, (2018–2020 and beyond)
  • windwoundweatherwovenwirewoman [performance] (2017)
  • Viscous Myths (2017/2018)
  • The Pass (October 2017 – June 2018)
  • The House Alice Built (2017/2019)
  • Productive Withdrawals: Art Strikes, Art Worlds, and Art as a Practice of Freedom (December 2017)
  • Request for the unrequested voluntary interlinguisticality (2017)
  • Caring for Communities (2017 – 2019)
  • Bodies + Borders (2017 – present)
  • a place called … (Spring 2017)
  • Uppland (2016 – 18)
  • Music for Masterplanning (2016 – 17)
  • P | A | N – Proyecto Amasandería Nacional (2016)
  • Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces (2016)
  • Island Icarus (2016–2019)
  • In My Mothers’ Garden: Memories and practices of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (2016)
  • Having not felt like eating, but eaten, I sat down to eat / tea … (2016)
  • Desiring the Dark: Feminist Scenographies, the City and the Night, (2016–2019)
  • Bamboo dialogues (2016)
  • ASSET ARREST (2016)
  • Alternative Arrangements: Walking the Border in Ireland (2016 – ongoing)
  • Matter of the Manor (2015 – 19)
  • The First World Congress of the Missing Things (2014)
  • Private Choices, Public Spaces (2014)
  • Hanging Matters (2014)
  • Act#5 & Act#6: What does Mai Mai Mean? (March 2014 – December 2016)
  • 03-FLATS (2014)
  • (small memorials), 2013–15
  • Mount Patawerta
    Gardening for Untold Ecologies: A Manual for Making an Arid GARDEN Out There, (2013)
  • A Game of Dominoes (2013)
  • Lina & Gio: the last humanists (February – June 2012)
  • Learning-through-Touring (2012)
  • Empty Words Build Empty Homes (2012)
  • Ridley’s (2011)
  • Hustadt project, 2008 – (2011)
  • Palimpsest Performances (2010 – 2014)
  • Negotiating Conflict: Bordering Practices in a Divided Beirut (2010 – 2014)
  • Expanded Architecture (2010 – 2014)
  • Unfixing Place: A Study of Istanbul through Topographical Practices (2008)
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