Reading Intimacy
Eloise Sweetman

What if we heard ‘I don’t know’ not as a declaration of ignorance but rather an appeal for intimacy? Or better yet, what if we began to make this call ourselves? But, then how do we reconcile our care for those that are insensitive, abusive, or repulsive? In this presentation, I will hold the work of Deborah Bird Rose, Johanna Macy, Sun-Ha Hong, Karen Barad, and Donna Haraway close to me as I slowly tread around and within the space made by not knowing through intimacy. I offer intimacy as embrace and as resistance, making space for the unexplainable, the unfathomable, and the messy in a multitude of bodies, shapes, and forms.

Eloise Sweetman is a Western Australian curator, writer, artist, and teacher based in Rotterdam. Eloise opened the exhibition space ‘Shimmer’ in the Port of Rotterdam in February 2018. Shimmer operates with a studio mentality where knowledge arises through participation and experimentation. In this way, Eloise hopes the artworks and the multifaceted others gather and stretch across time. Recent projects and collaborations are with A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam; Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Turning a Blind Eye, São Paulo Bienal; De Appel, Amsterdam; and Political Arts Initiative, the Hague and Leiden. She is a theory lecturer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and was a researcher at the Van Eyck Academie. She has a Master of Fine Art from the School of Missing Studies, Sandberg Instituut.