Semâ Bekirović, Reading by Osmosis

Reading by Osmosis
Nature interprets man.

Curated by Semâ Bekirović

With works by non human artists, starring: the wind, the river Thames, fire, oysters, vines, rain, gravity, crows, lava, friction, dogs, pigeons, mud, barnacles, ants, moss, fungi, the sea, and others.

het Glazen Huis, 16 February – 7 April 2019


Photo by Sander Tiedema

The culture/nature dichotomy isn’t as self evident as has long been held. If culture and nature can no longer be seen as opposites, what’s to keep us from stretching things a little bit further, and proclaim nature to be capable of art, of authorship?

Reading by Osmosis is a research project by artist and curator Semâ Bekirović. Reading by Osmosis will focus on artworks made by non-human artists: works made by animals, trees, the wind, and other entities and processes. The project especially focuses on works that are inspired by the human domain, or employ humans or man-made objects as tools and material. The objects range from a muddy plastic Madonna, survivor of the earthquake in Haiti, to a nest consisting of clothes hangers made by an inventive Tokyo crow.

Photo by Sander Tiedema

For this show, Semâ, who has been known to collaborate with natural phenomena within her own art practice, tries to steer clear of her usual role of author/artist. As curator she provides the works with context, hoping to start a discussion about authorship. Nature clearly doesn’t care all that much about us. It is always ready to upend our familiar world. Different natural processes employ different means towards this end, engendering different aesthetics. An aesthetics that surprisingly often reminds us of contemporary art works. It’s clear that it’s not just us who interpret nature, but nature itself that interprets us.

Photo by Sander Tiedema

Semâ Bekirović is a Dutch artist and curator. She showed at A.O. at Stedelijk museum Amsterdam (2015 Amsterdam), Galerie Stigter van Doesburg (2015, Amsterdam); Hayward Gallery project space (2010, London), Nest (2018, Den Haag); Bunkier (2017, Krakow); Pyeong Chang Biennale (2017, Zuid-Korea); Museum 104 (2014, Parijs).

More info: and

Read more about Reading by Osmosis in the press:

NRC, Mister Motley, Amsterdam FM, Metropolis M.

Sunday March 24, 2019
An afternoon with lectures

Mamoru Suzuki gives a lecture about his bird nest collection and Kees Moeliker (director Natural History Museum Rotterdam) will be doing a Q&A with Semâ Bekirović.
The lecture by Mamoru will be held in Dutch and is available for children. After the lecture, children are invited to build birds nests themselves.

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