Lily Robert presents Future Bestiary, the first solo show by artist Petros Moris in Paris. Recurrent in Moris’ work, systems of geological materiality and digital fabrication unfold the entanglements of chthonic memory with the mythical, social and technological construct of the future.
The exhibition brings together an assembly of sculptural entities in suspended material rendering. Reconstructed in marble sourced from quarries around Greece, their figures originate from photogrammetric scans that the artist performed on funerary artifacts of the Kerameikos archaeological site, depicting the daemonic beings and apotropaic animals that inhabited the ancient cemetery as the underworldly protectors of life and death. These tectonic bodies are joined by linguistic signs and digital imagery that encode wishful speculations and emerging anxieties about natural ecosystems, algorithmic sovereignty and sociopolitical change. Likewise, they coexist with alchemically processed forms: 3D-printed specters that trace the conception of the future back to their ritualistic formulations and eventual colonization by scientific institutions and technologies of quantitative simulation and predictive analysis.
The symbolic and physical subterranean space recalled in Moris’ work is a realm of bidirectional time and ceaseless emergence. Like the mythological underworld, it is not only perceived as the territory of fateful entropy and sedimentary demise, but equally the origin of earthly wealth—the extractive domain of the material resources that forged the notion of anthropogenic progress and perpetually shape nonhuman coexistences.
Both consciousness of the past and foresight of what is to come can be extracted from the underground. This is the haunted gift of the chthonic entities that form a bestiary of power and vulnerability, burdened with terrestrial trauma and graced with the potential of fierce transformation.