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'eat & becʘ̃me' by Silas Inoue at Augustiana, Augustenborg

Silas Inoue’s praxis is based on an idiosyncratic approach to nature and humanity – and how these concepts are deeply intertwined. The exhibition eat & becʘ̃me deals with the state of dependence between humans, and the provisions that nature provides us with. A physical necessity, that is cultivated by man, and today has become a symbolic phrase: you become, what you eat.

In his work with drawing, sculpture and installation, Inoue combines analytical world observations with intuitive and imaginative expressions. He describes the style as quasi-Asian, referring to his own part eastern part western origin. The sculptural works often contain food products, and touch upon themes such as evolution, growth and decay. On the occasion of the exhibition, Inoue has thought about the nutritional aspects of his practice, as well as how consumption correlates with becoming.

The work series Infrastructure can be seen as an analogy to the increase of population in the metropolises. The inner compositions resemble imaginary cityscapes, inhabited by bacteria and viruses, together with hundreds of different fungal species, and limited by the acrylic glass tanks that hermetically surround them. Their myceliumfibers give rise to millions of fungal spores, like individuals in a microcosm. On top of the tanks, bronze respiratory systems are placed, which by means of filters add air to the organisms, while pre- venting the spores and mycotoxins from entering the outside space. Similarly to the infrastructure of society and the human body, the works submit themselves to the microbes living inside them.

A similar kind of microculture is at stake in the work SymbioSoup. This is a combined sculptural and performative work, whose title points to the theory of symbiogenesis. Symbiogenesis literally means becoming by living together, and refers to the pivotal role, that symbiosis have played in the evolution of life. The work comes about in the social gathering that evolves around a pot of soup, served at the exhibition opening. Here, the guests are encouraged to donate the leftovers in their soup bowl to the sculpture. The purpose is that the individual bacterial flora of each guest will collectively form unpredictable colonies, reproducing and growing throughout the exhibition period.

In the Future Friture series, large quantities of sugar are melted into a hard candy mass, subsequently used as sculptural material, and sunken into cooking oil. The sculptural works represent the Hydra-organism, as well as the small jellyfish Turritopsis Dohrnii, whose rather special life cycle consists in regenerating itself. Still, this particular ability is a scientific area of interest, and the work also refers to our constant yearning for immortality. The cooking oil preserves the sugar sculptures – but also points out the duality, that lies in the continuance of the oil and sugar, in relation to their degenerative effects on the human body. 

The human diet is connected to our evolutionary advance. Way back when we went from subsisting on vegetables to eating meat, we developed bigger brains, and later, when we learned how to prepare food under heating, we developed the cognitive capacities that we have today. At the same time, our culture around food has become concurrent for how we progress, on an individual, health-related level as well as in a longer, evolutionary perspective. The way in which we produce, distribute and consume food products is decisive for what kind of world we create. 

17.7.20 — 20.9.20

Augustiana

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