Caves, Dwellings & Vibration: sub_merge by Laura Emsley, followed by a conversation with Maria Angélica Madero
This is an edited recording of Opening Remarks by Canan Batur (Curator of Live Programmes) and sub_merge by Laura Emsley, followed by a conversation with Maria Angélica Madero. This discussion took place during day 2 of Caves, Dwellings & Vibration, a two-day programme deepening and complexifying our relationship with caves through talks, music, film and performances.
Reflecting on her early childhood experiences of spelunking and caving, Laura Emsley talks about how caves reshaped her artistic practice and interweaved connections between geological, environmental and anthropological. Over the last 25 years, Emsley has been working with subterranean networks and descending into the deep earth from France to South Africa to challenge dominant and linear narratives as well as modes of being. She states “The cave is the place where what is inside your head and outside merge and it’s impossible to tell the difference".
Laura Emsley (b. Cape Town, South Africa) is a London based artist. She works across a range of media including papier mache, painting, sculptural objects and video, often realised as large-scale immersive installations. In her works, she takes on the role of explorer paleoanthropologist with a mixture of irony and authenticity. Her projects have been facilitated by residencies and site-specific exhibitions including at The Cradle of Humankind, UNESCO (South Africa), Pech Merle Cave (Maison des arts George et Claude Pompidou (France) and Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter (Norway).
María Angélica Madero is an artist, curator and researcher. At the London Interdisciplinary School, she’s Associate Professor and Lead on Prep Culture and Content Creation. She is also Honorary Professor at El Bosque University in Colombia, where she was Head of Art from 2015 to 2020. During her time at El Bosque she redesigned and accredited the programme with a radical take on art education. She studied art at Los Andes University in Colombia. She has a Masters in Sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL and a Masters in Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory in the CRMP at Kingston University. She is part of several collectives including (Play)ground-less, UHIM (Heterogeneous Unity of Moving Images) and No te oigo (contemporary music).
She cares about contemporary visual culture, technology and radical education.