Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


GROUND TRUTHINGS: Local Soil Tasting + 2 Deep Maps
Nance Klehm
Oct 30, 2019 (6pm)


The practice of eating earth or soil-like substrates such as clay or chalk has a deep anthropological history and is practiced by various cultures around the world. For this program Klehm has collected soil from various locations around Chicago and her team will guide participants through a tasting to sensorially explore the minerals and biological processes that cause the different ‘notes’ and flavors of soil.

As part of the ongoing exhibition, Klehm and her collaborator and colleague Jacob Blecher will present their Deep Maps of two earthen sites in Chicago: Madlener House (Gold Coast) and Raber House (Englewood) will be presented along with soil corings on trays made from local clay Klehm has dug and processed.

Nance Klehm is internationally respected for her work on land politics and soil health. Her work has received extensive national and international media coverage amongst those: Time Magazine, BBC Canada, MSN, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and is mentioned in many books, including Leila Darwish’s Earth Repair (2013), Sandor Katz’s The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved (2006) and Alexandra Toland's Field to Palette: Dialogues on Soil and Art in the Anthropocene (2019). She won the 2010 Utne Visionary Prize and is a member of the Curry-Stone Design Prize Social Design Circle. In addition, she has lectured broadly in museum and university settings as well as for countless community groups worldwide. Klehm is the author of: The Ground Rules: a manual to reconnect soil and soul (2016) and The Soil Keepers: Interviews with practitioners on the ground beneath our feet (2019) and is working on a manual on microbial remediation of contaminated soils. Most recently, she was the subject of the independent documentary, Weedeater. Nance splits her time between La Villita, a densely packed, urban neighborhood in Chicago and her 50 acres of land in The Driftless Region.

Jacob Blecher is a writer, grower, and horticulturalist based in Wilmington, NC. With Social Ecologies, he helped develop a city-wide community composting and bioremediation project in Chicago called The Ground Rules. He holds a BA from Yale University and an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

Image: Nance Klehm, documentation from Hyperobjects – Mineral
Free Exposure Soil Tasting with artist and ecologist Nance Klehm at Capri in Marfa, Texas, August 24, 2018. Courtesy Ballroom Marfa. Photo: Rowdy Lee Dugan

For more information on the exhibition, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio: Unraveling Modern Living, click here.