Nature as Image

Artists Mario Del Curto and Rachel Sussman in conversation with moderator Corey Keller, Curator of Photography at SFMOMA.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


June 13, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


$10, free with student ID, $15 at the door

Since the 19th century, photography has been used to capture nature in its various forms. Photographers accompanied explorers and scientists to document the wonders they discovered. Nowadays, artists’ eyes guide us to peer at our intimate emotions and public concerns about the changing world and the life it holds.

Together with the Long Now Foundation, swissnex San Francisco invites audiences to hear from two photographers with unique relationships to nature, Rachel Sussman and Mario Del Curto, in a conversation moderated by SFMOMA photography curator Corey Keller.

In Sussman’s The Oldest Living Things in the World, she researches and works with biologists globally to photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older. Del Curto’s photographs similarly explore nature, but his are seen through the lens of humankind, both man’s interest in controlling, nurturing, and representing nature as well as man’s relationship to nature through archiving.

*This event is part of Cultivating our Future, a month-long program in June 2014 during which swissnex San Francisco investigates our relationship to plants and imagines a green and healthy future for cities and the planet. Events tackle the theme through the lenses of community, research, art, and design.

**Books Inc. will be selling copies of Sussman’s book, The Oldest Living Things in the World, during the event. 


6:00 pm    doors open
6:30 pm    program begins
7:30 pm    audience Q&A
8:00 pm    networking reception
9:00 pm    doors close

Related Events

[ART] Month of June: GARDENS | BOTANICA photography exhibition from Mario Del Curto
June 2: Food Cultivation and Civic Engagement
[RESEARCH] JUNE 5: Plant Diversity and Seed Heritage
[DESIGN] June 14: Material Matters


Mario Del Curto

Lausanne-based photographer Mario Del Curto started documenting social unrest in the 1970s and 1980s, which led to the publication of the book Suisse en movement with Philippe Maeder and Armand Deriaz. He soon became an independent photographer and commenced his stage work, particularly in the realm of theater and dance.
Del Curto’s photographs are exhibited in several international galleries and museums, in particular the Musee de l’Elysee and the Art Brut Collection in Lausanne, Switzerland, of which he is a member of the Advisory Committee.He is also a consultant and associate curator of several exhibitions and festivals. Today, the scope of his work extends beyond the artistic genre and includes transdiscplinary projects.


Rachel Sussman

Rachel Sussman is a contemporary artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her photographs and writing have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, and NPR’s Picture Show. She has spoken on the TED main stage and at the Long Now Foundation, is a MacDowell Colony and NYFA Fellow and is a trained member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps.
Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, and acquired for museum, university, corporate, and private collections. Her first book, The Oldest Living Things in the World, reached shelves on April 22, 2014, published by the University of Chicago Press, and a major solo exhibition opens this September at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn.


Corey Keller

Corey Keller is curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), where she has organized a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions, including Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840–1900 (2008), an exhibition that explored the use of photography in nineteenth-century science. More recently, she organized the major retrospective exhibition of the photographer Francesca Woodman (2011), which traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. She also organized the much discussed symposium “Is Photography Over?” in 2010 and participated as a panelist Keller oversees Picturing Modernity, SFMOMA’s ongoing presentation of its world-class photography collection.
In addition to authoring several SFMOMA publications, Keller has contributed scholarly essays to the exhibition cataloguesHelios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change (Corcoran Gallery of Art, 2010) and Jay DeFeoA Retrospective (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2012), among others. Keller is currently working on a traveling exhibition of the nineteenth-century photographer J.B. Greene.
Previously, Keller has held curatorial positions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She was a doctoral candidate in art history at Stanford University (ABD), where she also received her master’s degree in art history. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Yale University and attended Spéos (Paris Photographic Institute).

More Info

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock andLibrary projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

*The Long Now Foundation uses five-digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos