Nina Canell, Robin Watkins and K. Verlag at Progetto / Lecce

Nina Canell, Robin
Watkins and K. Verlag at Progetto

October 19 – November 30, 2019

Via Idomeneo 72,

Together. To gather. Collate, col-, act, collect. Glue together, colla, collaborate. Collagenate. Coagulate. Colour in,
coloralo, collaborare . Laborare.
Labour together. To gather together. Colander

Exploring the Lecce and Salento region, three practitioners have shared
500 hours together. The residency that culminates in the launch of the
Vegetable Teratology Colouring Book , co-edited by Nina Canell and Robin Watkins and published by
Anna-Sophie Springer’s press K. Verlag. At Progetto gallery, this new
publication is presented alongside a selection of previous works from K.’s
library, as well as a sculptural installation by Nina Canell.
Based on Maxwell T. Masters’s Vegetable Teratology: An Account of the Principal
Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants
(1869), the colouring book examines the morphological potential of vegetables and
fruits, plants and flowers. It gathers a selection
of full-page
botanical illustrations, a glossary and a short text
by Robin Watkins. The
images, which once served to outline notions
of what was to be
considered acceptable growth behaviour, now take
on a new role by
subtly embracing the aberration of form in its
various colorations.
In this context, Nina Canell’s work, which emphasises material agency
and sculptural process, is here engaged with primary material—clay and
stone—investigating the deviation and contour of things as they come together
or fall apart. Often using room-specific conditions, her installations respond
to heat or moisture, calling for presence to replace form in sculpture.
Anna-Sophie Springer’s work as a curator and publisher develops collaborative
and transdisciplinary methodologies around the denaturalization of natural
history in our time of ecological collapse. Since 2011, she directs the
publishing imprint and curatorial-editorial platform K. Verlag as a means to
interrogate the book as an exhibition space. Previous publications—often
produced in collaboration with other artists—have focused on themes dealing
with historical archives, natureculture, post/colonialism, geopolitics and environmental
Progetto acts as a host of this meeting where books take shape and
materials lose form in an opening on Saturday, October 19, 2019, 6-8pm.
Progetto gallery is located at Via Idomeneo 72, Lecce, Italy.
Nina Canell (b. 1979, Växjö, Sweden) lives and works in Berlin. Recent
solo exhibitions have been held at S.M.A.K., Ghent (2018); Kunstmuseum St.
Gallen (2018); the Artist’s Institute, New York (2017); Centre d’art
contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, Paris (2017), Arko Art Center, Seoul (2015);
Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London (2014) and Hamburger
Bahnhof, Berlin (2012-2013). Her group exhibition history includes the Venice,
Sydney, Lyon, and Liverpool Biennials; exhibitions at the Museo Tamayo, Mexico
City; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris and the
Fridericianum, Kassel.
Robin Watkins (*1980) is an Irish-Swedish artist currently living and
working in Berlin, Germany. Watkins has presented audio screenings at La Casa
Encendida, Madrid (2017), Witte de With, Rotterdam (2015), Mount Analogue,
Stockholm (2013), Kunsthaus Glarus (2011), Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2010)
and ICA, London (2009). Robin Watkins frequently collaborates with Nina Canell
(*1979). Their collaborative works have been shown at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City
(2017); Moderna Museet Stockholm (2014); Biennale de Lyon (2015); Sydney
Biennale (2012); Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2011), MUMOK, Vienna (2010),
amongst other places.
K. Verlag is a boutique publishing imprint and curatorial-editorial
platform advancing new forms of the “book-as-exhibition.” Our publishing and
curating produces new geographical and physical 
encounters, develops intercultural approaches to historical archives,
and advances hybrid methodologies to explore contemporary issues. Previous
projects by K. have engaged themes of 
naturecultures, post/colonialism and ethnography, geopolitics and
environmental violence, as well as visual culture, the library, and the museum.
We collaborate internationally with artists and institutions to produce unique
publications, which explore the book-space beyond mere documentation (thus
going further than the traditional exhibition catalog), creating instead
adjacent, parallel, or extended curatorial spaces. To date, K. has published
more than 15 publications, including Dora García’s On Reconciliation/Über
Versöhnung, which won the 2019 award “25 Most Beautiful Books” by the German
Stiftung Buchkunst. In 2020, we will also launch a new series, Processing Process,
as our first, the intercalations: paginated exhibition series, co-published
with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt as part of Das Anthropozän-Projekt, comes
to a close with the release of its final two volumes.
In addition to offering complete and bespoke publishing services, K.
Verlag approaches publishing as a platform, which also realizes public events
including panel discussions, public lectures, exhibitions as well as participating
in art books fairs internationally. The project was co-founded in 2011 by
Anna-Sophie Springer and Charles Stankievech; it is currently directed by Anna-Sophie
as an imprint of the Asset Production Studio in Berlin-Lichtenberg.