Marjetica Potrč is an artist and architect based in Ljubljana and Berlin. Potrč’s artworks have been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the Americas, including at the Venice Biennial (1993, 2003, 2009) and the São Paulo Biennial (1996, 2006), and are shown regularly at Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin. Her many on-site community-based projects include Dry Toilet (Caracas, 2003), The Cook, the Farmer, His Wife and Their Neighbour (Amsterdam, 2009) and Between the Waters (Essen, 2010).
Since 2011, she has been a professor at the University of Fine Arts/HFBK in Hamburg, where she teaches the course Design for the Living World, in which students develop participatory design projects over long-term residencies. One of their most recent projects is The Soweto Project (Soweto, South Africa, 2014). In Potrč’s view, when communities implement and disseminate sustainable solutions, they both empower themselves and help create a democracy built from below.
From June 11 to October 18, 2015, at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Potrč will exhibit the newly commissioned site-specific project The School of the Forest: Miami Campus. The idea behind the project is based on the Universidade da Floresta (The University of the Forest), an initiative launched in rural Brazil in 2005 that brings together knowledge from the communities of the Amazonian forest with that of established scientists and scholars and treats both systems of thought on equal terms. The Brazilian state of Acre is known for implementing groundbreaking policies and practices that have reversed the process of deforestation. One of the state’s most notable efforts in this regard is the distribution of half its territory to local communities that practice collective ownership and sustainable resource management. Over the course of the exhibition, a series of lectures, seminars, and symposia will be held inside the structure designed by Potrč for the gallery. When the exhibition closes, the structure will be transported to a local urban farm, where it will support the farm’s day-to-day practical needs.