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The Courtauld | Queer Ecologies: Artist Adham Faramawy

May 9, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

What might it mean to ‘queer’ ecology? When scientist George Murray Levick recorded same-sex coitus among Arctic penguins in 1910-13, he wrote his observations in Ancient Greek for fear those without a classical education would read it. When Levick did eventually collate his findings into a pamphlet, it was declined for publication with the official expedition report. Homophobia or transphobia often claim an identity or act is either ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’, but the nonhuman world itself exceeds or disrupts such attempts to order it through social structures of power. Such prejudice was employed by European imperialism in its quest to steal land and extract natural resources, while claiming those colonised were ‘close to nature’. The language of migration often draws on ecological metaphors, from ‘laying roots’ or ‘planting seeds’ to ‘hostile environments’. At a time of rising far right movements as well as waves of LGBTQ+ activism and in the midst of a climate emergency, artist Adham Faramawy will reflect on the relationship between queer politics and ecologies in their art practice. Recent work like The air is subtle, various and sweet (2021) and Skin Flick (2019) have traced connections and tensions between desire, bodies, and entanglements amongst humans and those they co-habit the planet with.
Adham Faramawy is an artist of Egyptian descent based in London. They have been shortlisted for the 2021 Jarman Award, having previously been shortlisted for that award in 2017. Faramawy has recently exhibited in group shows at Somerset House, London (2020) and Science Gallery, London (2020) as well as Art Night 2021. In 2019 the artist presented Skin Flicks at a screening dedicated to their work at Tate Britain. Faramawy was a 2018/2019 fellow at Broadway’s Near Now, Nottingham and has had solo exhibition at Cell Projects, London and The Bluecoat, Liverpool.
Organised by Dr Edwin Coomasaru (The Courtauld and Edinburgh University) and Dr Rachel Warriner (The Courtauld)