Mycorrhizal Encounters IV: In Conversation with Tai Shani

An online discussion with multidisciplinary artist Tai Shani on researching the history of ergot mushrooms from which LSD is extracted.

24.11.2021 19:00 —20:30
online with ZOOM platform

In the fourth episode of our regular mycorrhizal meetings we present:

Tai Shani, the 2019 Turner Prize co-winner, who will talk about her recent work The Neon Hieroglyph, based on her long-term research into the history of ergot (the vernacular name for the purple stickleback), a fungus that alienates rye seedlings and other grains from which LSD is extracted.

Tai Shani’s multidisciplinary practice, which works with the media of performance, film, photography and installation, revolves around experimental narrative texts. In them, Shani creates intense, erotic and fantastical images, which she narrates in a dense, florid language, imaginatively reinterpreting female alterity as a perfect whole set in a world of cosmologies, myths and histories that defy patriarchy. Oscillating between familiar narrative tropes and structures and theoretical prose, she explores the construction of subjectivity, excess, and affect in epic works that form the basis of post-patriarchal realism.

Join to meet Tai Shani LIVE:
Password: mushroom

The discussion will be conducted in English via the Zoom platform.

Tai Shani (*1976) was born in London and is this year’s Turner Prize nominee. She has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. She has recently presented the following exhibitions and commissioned works: Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2019); Athens Biennial (2018); Still I Rise, Nottingham Contemporary (2018); Glasgow International (2018); Wysing Arts Centre (2017); Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2016); commission for RADAR, Loughborough University (2016); Serpentine Galleries (2016); Tate Britain (2016); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2015); Southbank Centre, London (2014-15); Arnolfini, Bristol (2013); Matt’s Gallery, London (2012); FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais and Loop Festival, Barcelona (2011); The Barbican, London (2011); ICA, London (2011).

In the pilot episode of Mycorrhizal Encounters, Tereza Porybná spoke with author and founder of the Radical Mycology movement Peter McCoy and Slovak sound artist and organizer of the mykoLOM festival Jonáš Gruska about the possibilities of accessible mushroom cultivation, mycoremediation and medicinal mushrooms. In the second session, Mexican multidimensional artist Xalli Zúñiga debated with Lenka and Elspeth about collaborative drawing and thinking and being with mushrooms as an eco-feminist practice and anti-colonial political project. In the third episode, Lenka and Elspeth then welcomed Chido Gover, a farmer, activist and trainer from Zimbabwe promoting pioneering social enterprise initiatives to end poverty, abuse and food insecurity through growing mushrooms from waste products, with an emphasis on skills development and education for girls and women.

In the final episode of Mycorrhizal Encounters, we welcome Anna Tsing, British anthropologist and author of The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins.

The Mycorrhizal Encounters is jointly prepared by Lenka Vráblíková, Eslpeth Mitchell and Tereza Porybná as part of the festival Descendants of Mushrooms and the (Eco)Politics of Sharing.

The Descendants of Mushrooms and the (Eco)Politics of Sharing festival is organised by the collective Les – a community for cultivation, theory and art and in collaboration with Are and the Anxiety Institute.

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The project is realized with the support of the City of Prague, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Municipality of Prague 7 and the State Fund for Culture.