Enzyme #2 Life Systems Magazine

Session 1: Following the Water

15 June 6 - 8pm


In this session, we will unpack the contributions by artists Bonnie Ora Sherk and Linda Jane James to Enzyme #2.

Taking a lead from water, a key protagonist in their work, we will discuss how streams and brooks interact with the environment, shaping the world of humans and more-than-humans alike.

Bonnie Ora Sherk will walk us through her investigation of watersheds, presenting images and stories around her site-specific, landscape-based work. In her illustrated talk, she will also expand on her long-term project A Living Library, as well as the tool kit that she conceived for Enzyme.

Linda Jane James invites us to join her for a visual journey to the Welsh coast, which served as inspiration for her magazine project. Reflecting on the liquids that leave their imprint on rocks and stones, she will speak about natural and artificial waterways, trickle-down effects and climate change. Join us for a mixed-media exploration of water systems, liquidity and the malleability of life.

About Bonnie Ora Sherk

Bonnie Ora Sherk (b. New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA), lives and works in New York and San Francisco, USA. She is known as a pioneering ecological artist, landscape architect and educator. Forming a new planetary genre of art that she calls FUNCSHUIONAL ART, her artworks, as the name implies, integrate styles and methodologies of western, eastern, northern, southern cultures and global indigenous cultures. Her landscape-based artworks, called A LIVING LIBRARY (A.L.L.), transform both the environment and consciousness of people, and are meant to be developed globally with interconnected BRANCHES. In 2000, she was named a Laureate of the Smithsonian Institution, nominated by Steve Jobs, of Apple Inc. Sherk’s works have been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries, including the Venice Biennale, Italy (2017), Parco Arte Vivente, Italy (2018, 2015), Van Abbe Museum, Netherlands (2016, 2014), and MOMA PS1, USA (2015). Both her current work and her 1970s ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE SCULPTURES feature in numerous publications and journals, worldwide.

About Linda Jane James

Linda Jane James (b. 1965, Dorset, UK) lives in Wales. Trained as a chartered accountant before transitioning to fine art, Linda’s practice examines what it means to ‘give an account’ or ‘hold to account’. She works at the intersection between art, accounting and the environment. Linda takes her immediate surroundings as a starting point for gathering fragments of sound, image and text, bringing together human and other-than-human voices in order to shed light on business, social and environmental relationships. She is currently studying for an MA in Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores School of Art and Design.


Session 2: From Skin to Page and Back Again

22 June 6 - 8pm


In this session, we will unpack the contributions by artists Cos Ahmet, Joélson Buggilla and Jorgge Menna Barreto to Enzyme #2.

Some artists work in studios, others also use laboratories to create their art. That is the case with Cos Ahmet, whose experiments with making skins have brought him close to science.

In this event, we will have a chance to speak to Cos, who will introduce us to the lab in which he works. Touching upon the materials, tools and machines that impact his work, he will walk us through his poetic approach to skin making.

In the second part of our evening, we will meet Enzyme creators Joélson Buggilla and Jorgge Menna Barreto, who will elaborate on the design of the magazine, as well as the story of their durational project Mauvais Alphabet.

Together, the artists will reflect upon strategies and possibilities of translating their work onto the pages of the magazine, thus imagining the publication not only as a support for their idea, but as an extension of their artistic process.

About Cos Ahmet

Cos Ahmet (b. 1973, London, UK) lives in Liverpool, UK. Ahmet’s multidisciplinary practice focuses on the relationship between the body and materiality, explored through sculpture, installation, video and performance. His works examine how the body intervenes with a material that changes its language with each contact attempt. Addressing the body as a medium, site and skin, he investigates how and when the body stops being and becomes a material. Ahmet frequently activates the material objects he creates, thus exploring the conditions under which the body performs sculptural gestures. Ahmet is currently completing an MA Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). He is the recipient of an award from the Arts Council England (2017). Previous exhibitions include Curious Being, Crosby Beach, UK (2020); Chromophobia, SLOE Gallery, UK (2018); Points of Juncture, Forty Hall, UK (2017-18); Question.Reaction.Examination.Reaction, Alfred Gallery, Israel (2012).

About Joélson Buggilla

Joélson Buggilla (b. 1986, Santa Catarina, Brazil) lives in São Paulo, Brazil, and works as an artist, graphic designer and yoga instructor. As a graphic designer, he has collaborated with several artists to create publications which serve as extensions of their work, beyond the documental aspect. His latest project as an artist is called Seed Pedagogy (Utopiana, Switzerland, 2019) and uses seeds as a vantage point to engaging with environmental activism. Together with his partner Jorgge Menna Barreto, he created Enzyme magazine, the result of their artistic residency at Jan Van Eyck Academie, Netherlands (2019-2020). Recent exhibitions include Galeria Oá, Vitória, Brazil (2018); 1.000 Ecologies, Le Commun, Switzerland (2019); International Literature Festival, SESC Paratí, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2019).

About Jorgge Menna Barreto

Jorgge Menna Barreto, Ph.D. (b. 1970, Araçatuba, Brazil) is an artist and educator whose practice and research has been dedicated to site-specific art for over 20 years. Menna Barreto approaches site-specificity from a critical and South American perspective, having taught, lectured, and written extensively on the subject; he has participated in multiple art residencies, projects and exhibitions worldwide. In 2016, he took part in the 32nd São Paulo Biennial with his award-winning project Restauro: a restaurant set up to work with a complex system of environmental restoration in collaboration with settlements of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST); the project travelled to the Serpentine Galleries in 2017. In 2020, as a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Netherlands, he launched a periodical called Enzyme in collaboration with his partner Joélson Buggilla. In Geneva, Switzerland, he has collaborated on the MFA in Socially Engaged Art at HEAD - Haute École d’Arts Appliqués, where he is working on a collaboration focused on ecopedagogy. Since 2015, Menna Barreto has been a professor at the Art Department of Rio de Janeiro State University and is now Assistant Professor at the Art Department of UCSC.


Session 3: Feeding the Life Web

29 June 6 - 8pm


In this closing session, we will unpack the contributions by artists Newton Harrison and Abbie Bradshaw to Enzyme #2.

Newton will start by building a historical arch in time, connecting his contribution to the magazine to past environmental projects he did in the United Kingdom in collaboration with his wife and partner Helen Harrison, whose name inspires the title of his contribution to the publication, called Helen's Town.

Not just a town, this project can be described as a city which is hungry for environmental regeneration, which opposes cities' most common sole appetite for financial wealth.

And it is appetite and hunger that drives Abbie's research into the city of Liverpool's most famous dish. Abbie invites the audience to join her in cooking an environmentally friendly version of that dish: a blind scouse.

In the cooking class, you will learn about the history of the sailor’s stew, Abbie’s passion for instructions and the role of shared eating in Liverpool’s cultural landscape.

About Newton Harrison

Newton Harrison (b. 1932, New York, USA) lives in Santa Cruz, California, USA. Together with his wife, Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018), the Harrisons were foundational to the Ecological Art movement. Their concept of art embraces a wide range of disciplines – they are historians, diplomats, ecologists, investigators, emissaries, activists and poets. Their work proposes solutions and involves public discussion as well as extensive mapping and documentation. Past projects have focused on watershed restoration, urban renewal, agriculture, and forestry issues, always taking a whole systems approach. The Harrisons’ visionary projects have led to changes in governmental policy and have expanded dialogue around previously unexplored issues leading to practical implementations throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. They have exhibited globally, including documenta 8, Germany (1987), Venice Biennale, Italy (1976, 1980), Taipei Biennial, Taiwan (2018), and Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil (1985).

About Abbie Bradshaw

Abbie Bradshaw (b. 1995, Liverpool, UK) currently lives in Liverpool, studying for an MFA at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Abbie is a multidisciplinary artist who works mainly with performance and installation. Her practice focuses on body-space-relationships in everyday life. Abbie has an existentially motivated interest in the relationships formed by the body in space through chorographical objects. Using instruction as an artistic strategy, she challenges ordinary movements and the performance of everyday life. In her time-based works, the artist's body and selected props serve as tools to raise questions about human and more-than-human interactions, as well as the routines that are formed through repeated encounters and mutual positioning.