Grasse, France

Nicoletta Fiorucci Foundation

Lichen, Grasse
Lichen, Grasse
Lichen, Grasse
Garden, Grasse
Joana Escoval. Photography Luís Silva, Iceland 2016
Jakob Kudsk Steensen. Photo credit: Ériver Hijano.
Nolan Dennis. Image courtesy: the artist
Joel Kuennen. Image by Sheida Soleimani, 2021
Rindon Johnson. Image courtesy: the artist

About this weather station

LES LICHENS NE MENTENT JAMAIS/LICHENS NEVER LIE

Departing from Nicoletta Fiorucci’s private garden in Grasse, in Southern France, artist Joana Escoval and her collaborators will embark on Les lichens ne mentent jamais / Lichens Never Lie, a project that will chart the multi-faceted nature and properties of lichens as weather ‘reporters’, in an effort to upturn the anthropocentric underpinnings of weather reporting; posing the question: how do other climate agents exist with and respond to their environment?

Creative research reports consisting of photographs, audio recordings, films, map-making and poetical writings produced by a constellation of artists and researchers will be shared via the World Weather Network over the year.

About the project and participants

The title stems from a note Joana Escoval found in a pharmacognosy and mycology lab at the University of Rennes, France (“Les lichens ne mentent jamais”) whilst researching lichens and other kinds of symbiosis.  It points to the ability of lichens to act as air filters and climate barometers and their resilient capacity to adapt to extreme environments.    

Much as lichens – which are both algae and fungi – exist in symbiotic relations, the project brings together allies from different scientific and artistic backgrounds.  “We’ve always been lichens”, Donna Haraway said, claiming allegiance to their reliance on codependency as an antidote to the anthropocentrism that has caused the climate emergency. 

All artists and contributors of Les Lichens Ne Mentent Jamais/ Lichens Never Lie will respond to, formally or metaphorically, the properties of lichens.

Jakob Kudsk Steensen, working with writer Joel Kuennen, will voice the deep time in which glacial lichens exist, whilst artist and poet Rindon Johnson, in collaboration with digital platform Infrasonica, will use the power of the sonic to celebrate lichens’ nature as symbiotic and multitudinous beings.

Nolan Oswald Dennis will investigate what a lichen cosmology could look like, exploring how their entangled nature, often relegated to the margins of our archives, may in fact shed light on the interdependencies of our cultural, social, political and historical sub-terrains.  

As a summative contribution, Joana Escoval will explore the seasons, weather psychology and dreams, informed by conversations with a lichenologist.

Participating Artists: Nolan Oswald Dennis, Joana Escoval, Rindon Johnson, Joel Kuennen, Jakob Kudsk Steensen. With the special contribution of Infrasonica (Eloisa Travaglini, Pablo José Ramírez, Sam Simon).

Lichens Never Lie is a project developed by Nicoletta Fiorucci Foundation with commissioned artists Joana Escoval, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Joel Kuennen, Rindon Johnson, Nolan Oswald Dennis, and digital platform Infrasonica.

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