Italian top philosopher Emanuele Coccia to give a lecture in Helsinki in September
Italian philosopher Emanuele Coccia, known for his knowledge of nature and particularly the lives of plants, will hold a public lecture on Wednesday, 20 September 2023, at the invitation of Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts and the Saastamoinen Foundation.
Emanuele Coccia (b. 1976) is particularly famous for defending plants, and he talks about “animalic racism”, in which the plant kingdom is separated outside of the rest of society. “Plants have been forgotten, plants have no place in explaining the world. In this era of an environmental disaster, can we really continue to understand ourselves as separate from photosynthesis-capable plants that our being is intertwined with in our every breath?” Coccia asks.
Coccia has been involved in various art productions and is interested in the ontology of images and their defining power. He finds that people who think of nature know how to recognise the cultural character of nature, too. Consequently, artists are important creators of new landscapes. He was part of the Trees exhibition (Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris 2019), which gave a voice to artists, gardeners and philosophers who have established a close connection to trees with their aesthetic or scientific practice.
Emanuele Coccia received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Florence in 2005, and he has worked as a research professor in Tokio and Buenos Aires and at Columbia and Harvard Universities. He has written four books, and the Finnish translation of the book The Life of Plants was published in 2020. Since 2011, Coccia has worked as an associate professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
Public lecture coming up in September at Dance House Helsinki
During his visit, Emanuele Coccia will give a Saastamoinen Foundation Keynote lecture, which will be open to the public, and meet students and alumni of Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts as well as representatives of the Finnish art community. The event will take place on Wednesday, 20 September 2023, at 18:00 at Dance House Helsinki, at Kaapeliaukio 3. The lecture will be held in English.
Coccia is the seventh Saastamoinen Foundation Keynote lecturer
Coccia’s visit is part of the fine arts internationalisation programme started by the Academy of Fine Arts and the Saastamoinen Foundation in 2014, which, in addition to lectures and visiting professors, includes international mentoring and residency activities for master’s students and alumni of the academy.
The lecture will be the seventh Keynote lecture organised by Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts and the Saastamoinen Foundation. Speakers who are invited to these annual lecture events are internationally important figures in the arts.
Last year, British artist, professor and researcher Sonia Boyce captivated a packed hall at Dance House Helsinki. The Keynote series was opened in 2016 by Okwui Enwezor, the director of Haus der Kunst in Munich and the curator of the 2015 Venice Biennale. In 2017, the Keynote speakers were Elmgreen & Dragset, an artist duo who served as the curators of the Istanbul Biennial that same year. In 2018, the speaker was Adam Szymczyk, who has worked as the artistic director of Documenta 14, for example. The 2019 lecture was held by Martha Rosler, a US-born pioneer in feminist art, while the 2020 lecture was held by esteemed expert in Latin American art Andrea Giunta, who was the chief curator of the 2020 Mercosul Biennial.