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Goethe-Institut Boston presents: Heather Kapplow and Walker Tufts, “Autolysis” Installation and Participatory Artwork


“Autolysis” (self-splitting), by artists Heather Kapplow and Walker Tufts, is named after the first stage of decomposition when a body is buried, and from the Greek roots of that word. Autolysis is a poetic and visceral exploration of issues around climate change, plant species adaptation/extinction, and personal mortality through a focus on/engagement with soil/dirt.


Dirt/earth is the very base of our daily existence and also where we return to when we cease to exist. It nurtures us, and then we disappear into it. In the Covid-era, when we have become profoundly oriented towards the digital, and where cleanliness has felt like a life or death imperative, “Autolysis” offers an immersive, tactile and olfactory experience of re-connection with the earth and to dirt.


Autolysis also opens conversations about personal relationships with the earth in a way that emphasizes the actual material of the earth rather than earth with a capital “E”, and creates space for gentle contemplation of end of life/end of species issues.


Come immerse yourself in stories and scents unearthed from Boston’s past and present soil and imagine our future flora with conceptual artist Heather Kapplow and artist and game designer Walker Tufts!

June 1-15, 2022

170 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02116
View the installation through activities with the Artists (free admission to all events):
Guided walking experience with artists, Saturday, June 4, 1-3pm

Open Studio Drop-in Hours: Tuesday June 6 and Friday June 10, 5:30-7:30pm

Finissage with Artist Talk and Dirty Karaoke: Wednesday, June 15, 6-9:30pm

Goethe-Institut Boston Studio 170
170 Beacon St
Boston, Massachusetts

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