The natural history museum was once a primary pedagogical space designed to give visitors a deep appreciation for the profundity of evolution; today, it is the institution that must adapt to support exhibition alliances capable of addressing disturbing realities such as ecosystem collapse and anthropogenic climate change. From this perspective, Anna-Sophie Springer’s presentation will address the exhibition-led research project Reassembling the Natural, while also presenting a the philosophical and curatorial strategies of the current exhibition cycle Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die Welt als Wald (Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest, 2017/18) and other collaborations.
Anna-Sophie Springer is an exhibition maker, writer, editor, and publisher. Since 2011, she directs the boutique publishing imprint K. Verlag in Berlin, advancing new forms of the “book-as-exhibition”. In her research-based practice, Anna-Sophie works with cultural and scientific archives and collections to produce post-disciplinary ecologies of attention and care. She is co-principal investigator of Reassembling the Natural, an exhibition-led inquiry into biodiversity loss and land use transformation funded by Germany’s Kulturstiftung des Bundes, and a founding co-editor of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series, published by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in the context of Das Anthropozän Projekt. Her research-based practice merges curatorial, editorial, and artistic commitments by stimulating fluid relations among images, artifacts, and texts in order to produce new geographical, physical, and cognitive proximities, often in relation to historical archives and the book-as-exhibition. Her previous curatorial projects include the series EX LIBRIS (2013) on how to make exhibitions engaging books and libraries at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (HGB); Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin, and Arg.org. In 2015, she co-curated 125,660 Specimens of Natural History at Komunitas Salihara in Jakarta, Indonesia, in partnership with the Indonesian Institute of Science and funding by the Schering Stiftung. In addition to co-editing the intercalations: paginated exhibition series, Anna-Sophie is also the co-editor of Fantasies of the Library (MIT Press, 2016) and associate editor of the 8th Berlin Biennale, as well as the editor of numerous K. publications and the translator of books by Mark von Schlegell and Nina Power (both Merve, 2009/11). She received her M.A. in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and her M.A. in Curatorial Studies from HGB, Leipzig. In 2014, she was the Craig-Kade Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at Rutgers University. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Institut Kunst, Basel, and a Ph.D. student at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, where her research examines the financialisation of nature and the role of natural history collections in a time of ecological collapse and mass extinction.