Digesting Life Systems: Session 2 - From Skin to Page and Back Again

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This is the second evening session of Digesting Life Systems, a series of 'readings' and discussions on the launch of Enzyme #2 Magazine.

About this event

In this session, we will unpack the contributions by artists Cos Ahmet, Joelson 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.

Moderation by Jorgge Menna Barreto & Sarah Kristin Happersberger.

By joining the event, you will automatically be entered into a raffle to receive a FREE copy of Enzyme # 2 Life Systems magazine, there are 5 per each session to win.

About Enzyme #2 Life Systems

 The publication, Enzyme #2: Life Systems (2021), anchors on Jorgge Menna Barreto’s research-based practice focusing on how our environment is shaped by what we eat and how we live. 

Enzyme Magazine was created in 2020 by artists Joélson Buggilla and Jorgge Menna Barreto as a periodical that is also a durational art work. 

The first issue was launched at Jan van Eyck Academie (NL) and was dedicated to finding possible relations among the surfaces of the page, the table and the earth. Thinking of the periodical as part of an intellectual work of digestion, the artists proposed a second issue as their project for Liverpool Biennial and invited curator Sarah Kristin Happersberger to join them as co-editor.

 Artists Abbie Bradshaw, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Cos Ahmet, Linda Jane James and Newton Harrison, as well as LJMU Art students, collaborated on the challenge of turning Enzyme #2 into Life Systems, the title for this issue. 

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.

About Sarah Kristin Happersberger

Sarah Kristin Happersberger (b. Heppenheim, Germany) is a researcher and curator based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She has a background in art history and specializes in time-based art, socially engaged art and collaborative practices. Amongst others, she has organized exhibitions and projects for ZKM, Karlsruhe (DE), Arnolfini, Bristol (UK) and Liverpool Biennial (UK). Sarah is currently working on her PhD thesis, which discusses how women artists negotiated the notion of ‘togetherness’ in collaborative artworks that were produced in the context of the 1970s and 80s women’s movements. She has designed and taught courses on socially engaged art, feminisms and activist practices in museums, and published essays on performance art, public art and artist books.

About Liverpool Biennial

Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art. Taking over unexpected and public spaces, historic sites and art galleries, the Biennial has been transforming the city through art for over two decades. The 11th edition, The Stomach and the Port, explores notions of the body and ways of connecting with the world. 50 international artists and two collectives are taking part in this year’s Biennial. A dynamic programme of free exhibitions, performances, screenings and fringe events unfolds over the 12 weeks, shining a light on the city’s vibrant cultural scene.


Participants are expected to adhere to our online event Code of Conduct. We will be kind, respectful and patient towards each other in a positive and supportive environment. Abusive actions or language will not be tolerated.

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Organiser Liverpool Biennial

Organiser of Digesting Life Systems: Session 2 - From Skin to Page and Back Again

Liverpool Biennial presents the UK biennial of contemporary art. It takes place every two years across the city in public spaces, unused buildings, galleries and online. The Biennial is underpinned by a programme of research, education, residencies and commissions. Founded in 1998, Liverpool Biennial has commissioned over 340 new artworks and presented work by over 480 artists from around the world. 


Liverpool Biennial: The Stomach and the Port
20 March – 6 June 2021

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