Wendy Morris (Walvis Bay, Namibia) lives and works in Belgium. Unique to her current artistic practice are her Travelogues, polyvocal Herbals, Audio-Eeries, Duets, clandestine Radioworks, Fieldguides, Letters and Diaries. Morris is currently working on Nothing of Importance Occurred: Recuperating a Herball for a 17th century Enslaved Angolan Midwife at the Cape. Through an examination of European, African and Asian histories of plant contraceptives Morris is exploring bodies of knowledge that would have flowed to the settlement at the Cape in the 17th century and informed the practice of a midwife in the Slave Lodge. For the Lubumbashi Biennale (2019) Morris made A Tale of Eleven Births, and for the group show Alias (Kunsthal Netwerk Aalst 2019) The Travelogue of the Wandering Womb: Her Fantastic Encounters and Curious Utterings. Morris took part in the first iteration of the exhibition Nobody Would Have Believed (Kunsthal Netwerk Aalst 2020) with the audio installation Like a Thread Winding Backwards and the clandestine Radio Hush Hush. Nothing of Importance is a collaborative project, involving city gardeners, ethnobotanists and botanical gardens; midwives, healers and bushdoctors; anthropologists, political scientists and historians; vocalists, spoken word and sound artists; writers and composers. Morris is professor in contemporary arts at the University of Leuven and LUCA School of Arts, Brussels, and founder of the research constellation Deep Histories Fragile Memories.
Morris is connected as artist to the Kunsthal Netwerk Aalst for the programme of 2020-23.
Wendy Morris CV / Academic
Wendy Morris is an artist, researcher, senior lecturer, and part-time professor of Contemporary Arts, in the Art History Department of KU Leuven and the Luca School of Arts, Brussels. She is the founder of the interdisciplinary Deep Histories Fragile Memories research cluster, based at Luca that connects artistic researchers, writers, art historians and curators from the KU Leuven, Luca, VUB, and the art institute Netwerk Aalst.
As artist and researcher her work has a double focus on both historical and transdisciplinary research and the artistic and written forms in which this research manifests itself. Morris was one of the first artists in Belgium to engage in the artist’s doctorate and defended her project ‘Drawing on the Past’ in 2013 with five animated films and a set of 52 letters. She supervises doctorates in the arts.
2013 / Doctorate in the Arts, Drawing on the Past: Implicit : Explicit : Complicit. LUCA School of Arts & KU Leuven
2004 / Master Visual Arts, University of South Africa.
1999 / Honours Bachelor of Arts in Art History, University of S.A.
1994 / Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, 1994, University of S.A.
KU Leuven Arts Faculty, Research Unit Art History
Luca School of Arts, Brussels
Deep Histories Fragile Memories / Intermedia / LUCA
Project website: Nothing of Importance Occurred
- LUCA-arts / Art Research / the artist as investigator / Research Radio / 3BA Fine Arts and Audiovisual arts students LUCA / with dr. Laurens Dhaenens
- LUCA-arts / research>art<writing 2BA photography students
- KU Leuven / master supervision Faculty of Arts
- Workshop of Contemporary Arts, Master elective course, KU Leuven
- research<art>writing, Bachelor year 2, Luca School of Art
- Supervisor of Master papers in Photo and Film (Luca), Master and Bachelor papers in Art History (KU Leuven),
Supervisor of Doctorate in the Arts:
- Alexandra Crouwers, The Appeal of the Unreal (2019-23) Supervisory team includes prof.dr. Wendy Morris, dr. Jan Verpooten (KU Leuven), dr. Sepideh Karami (Edinburgh Uni) & Theun Karelse (Embassy of the North Sea, Netherlands)
- Joeri Verbesselt, Dystopian Optimism. Countering precariousness as the condition of our time. (2019-23) Supervisory team includes
- prof.dr. Wendy Morris, prof. dr. Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven), Rolf Quaghebeur (Kaap), prof.dr. Jen-yi Hsu (Dong Hwa University Hualien, Taiwan)
- Renée Turner, A Thousand Knots: A Garden of Entanglements (2020-24) Supervisory team includes prof.dr. Wendy Morris, dr. Kate Briggs (Piet Zwart Institute, Netherlands), dr. Janice Mcnab (Koniklijke Academy van Beeldende Kunsten) and Michelle Teran, (Willem de Kooning Academy, Netherlands).
- Nele Möller, The Forest Echoes Back – Receiving and Transmitting Forest Conversations (2021-25) Supervisory team still in formation
Advisor of Doctorates in the Arts
- Mariske Broeckmeyer, Migraine Music: a Submersive Dive into the Absurd World of the Migraine Sufferer – Towards the Creation of an Experimental Opera. Luca-arts & KU Leuven.
- Alina Cristea, Bucharest – The City with One Inhabitant. The City-Me. Luca-arts & KU Leuven.
- Nico Boon, The well-made play: written all over again? Luca-arts & KU Leuven.
- Fiona Hallinan, Ultimology. Luca-arts & KU Leuven.
- dr. Maria Gil Ulldemolins / Sept 16, 2021 / University of Hasselt / Title: Collapse. A Warburgian autotheory of Impacted Interiorities and Folding Bodies / Doctorate in the Arts
- dr. Fabio Waki / Nov 2020 / Universidade de Coimbra / Title: Artists in Thought: From Classical Reception to Criticism as a Creative Practice in Oscar Wilde’s and Michel Foucault’s Theories on Ethics and Aesthetics. Phd in Materialities of Literature.
Fieldguides for a Preternaturalist (2021-24) is series of single-essay booklets in which researchers from other disciplines (anthropology, ethnobotany, political sciences, histories) are invited to write into the project. Each published Fieldguide will be accompanied by a gathering at which the essay will be read aloud and recorded. The gatherings will be in South Africa, Angola, France, Portugal, Brazil and the Netherlands.
Publisher: K Verlag, Berlin. Funding: LucaBreakout Fund & Netwerk Aalst. See more on Fieldguides on the Nothing of Importance website here.
Hysterie of Guiné Weed and Sorrow Seed (2021-22) is a duet by two weedworts sung across the Atlantic from Angola to Brazil. Conceived and written by Wendy Morris the work is being composed into an audio installation by composer and singer Mariske Broekmeyer. The Song of Sorrow Seed is performed (in English and Portuguese) by Elisangelo Rita in Luanda, Angola. The Song of Guiné Weed is performed in English and Portuguese by Tatí de Tatiana in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Also involved in creating the work or the conditions in which the work can be made are curators Fernanda Pitta of Pinacoteca, Brazil; Laurens Dhaenens, Belgium; Pieternel Vermoortel, of Netwerk Aalst, Belgium; and Paula Nascimento, Angola. The historical research of Barbara Bush, UK, and Rachel O’Donnell, USA), was crucial to the conception of the work.
Funding: Pinacoteca, Flanders State of the Art, LUCA-Arts, Netwerk Aalst. The first iteration of this work goes on exhibition at Pinacoteca, Sao Paulo, in December 2021.
Publications / Presentations /Workshops
Talk / Blueprint for a radio-essay / LUCA / Oct 12, 2021
Talk / Hysterie of Guiné Weed and Sorrow Seed / Willem De Kooning Institute & Naturalis, Leiden / Nov 6, 2021
Symposium / Sliding Together / Sept 16 / University of Hasselt /
Workshop / Can new stories re-make the world? Unravelling narrative-non-narrative choices through an archaeology of practice / Re:Anima / Erasmus Mundus Master in Animation Film / Luca-arts Genk / Oct 22, 2021
Talk / The Lost Herball. Fantastic Encounters with Weeds, Whiffs and the Wandering Womb. Stories-within-stories of archaeological traces, clandestine radios, heretics and herbals, and plants to bring down a pregnancy / KASK / Curatorial Studies / March 20, 2021
Morris W. ‘The tongue is a witch’: Language, loss and interrupted narratives Lecture-performance
Presentation date: 12 Nov 2019 (Abstract/Presentation/Poster)
Morris W. A Tale of Eleven Births 24 Oct 2019 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Travelogue of the Wandering Womb, her Fantastic Encounters and Curious Utterings 07 Sep 2019 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Vastbesloten Verlangens 09 Feb 2018 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Boardgame: or From the Ranks to Field Marshal 2018 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. This, of course, is a work of the imagination 07 Sep 2017 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Off by Heart and Out of Breath: A Wandergram for a Lecture The Yellow Press Periodical 41-69 01 Jun 2017 (Journal article)
Morris W. Madi’s Memorial Madi’s Memorial is a short animated film presented at the Mendi conference. Round table discussion of films (documentary, animation) on the sinking of the SS Mendi.
Presentation date: 28 Mar 2017 (Abstract/Presentation/Poster)
Morris W. Drawing on the Past: Animation and World War 1 Seminar presentation of six films by Morris over the Great War
Presentation date: Oct 2016 (Abstract/Presentation/Poster)
Morris W. I will Dream All Day. Recent Video Works from Belgium. Image Forum 29 Apr 2016 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Off by Heart and Out of Breath. Exhibition Apr 2016 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Off by Heart and Out of Breath. A Silva Rerum 160 pages. MER. Paper Kunsthalle & Argos Centre for Arts and Media, Ghent 2016 (Book)
Morris W. Inventer le possible. Une vidéothèque éphémère Oct 2014 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Supermoon Screenings 09 Aug 2014 (Creation in the Arts or Design)
Morris W. Postings Supervisor: Van Gelder, Hilde. 2013 (PhD Thesis)
Van Gelder H, Morris W. Le son en espace sacré 25 Aug 2011 (Other)
Van Gelder H, Morris W. L’union fait la force 20 Jul 2011 (Other)
Van Gelder H, Morris W. Bully Beef: Métaphore de la subsistance, métaphore du cannibalisme 15 Jun 2011 (Other)
Morris W. Layers of Looking i-Perception 2(6):577-591 2011 (Journal article)
Morris W. De kolonie als consumptiegoed In Congo in België. Koloniale cultuur in de metropool . Editors: Viaene, Vincent, Van Reybrouck, David, Ceuppens, Bambi. 183-202. Leuven University Press, Leuven 2009 (Book Chapter)
Morris W. Art and Aftermath in Memorias Intimas Marcas: Constructing Memory, Admitting Responsibility In Beyond the Border War. New Perspectives on Southern Africa’s Late-Cold War Conflicts . Editors: Baines, Gary, Vale, Peter. 158-174. Unisa Press. University of South Africa., Pretoria 2008 (Book Chapter)
Morris W. Wendy Morris. Off the Record 2008 (Edited Book)