Mourning School: Lucie Gottlieb & Rosa Paardenkooper

Mourning School is an artistic and curatorial study program on the notion of being in grief as the stuff of our everyday. The vulnerability of life – threatened by political, social, health, climate and economic crises, inequity, precarity, loneliness and isolation – makes our proximity to loss more tangible. Yet practices of mourning remain stigmatized, individualized and pathologized. Mourning School proposes queerness, in its most expansive form, to subvert and unsettle Western norms around death and mourning. With art and artists, we imagine new ways of collective mourning to make space for the feelings that accompany death, dying and loss in exhibitions, programs and publishing. Mourning School is initiated and developed by Lucie Gottlieb and Rosa Paardenkooper.

Central to Mourning School lies the question: who gets to live and die, who is remembered and who is deemed ungrievable? Starting from an ancient lamenting tradition originating in the region of Karelia, we study this question through an exploration of songs, kinship relations and eulogies. Our research period at HIAP is intended as an experimental inquiry into what lamenting is; how it has been and is still used, and how it may be integrated into collective practices of mourning. By engaging in conversations, exercises and site visits we explore its potential as a generative healing practice situated in the past and present and extended to queered kinship relations, including with our non-human and material surroundings.

Mourning School’s residency is realised with support from the Nordic Culture Point.