re:prʘductiʘn looks into natural processes, like sex, reproduction and symbiosis, from both a human and non-human perspective.
On the roof of an old cooling tower, a neon sign with bright colors signifies that the building has been given a new life. The sign is inspired by various species of lichen – a composite organism made up of fungi living in a symbiotic relationship with algae.
The discovery of how lichen is composed of both mushroom and algae (Simon Schwendener 1867) led to the term symbiosis (Albert Frank 1877).
While algae draw energy from sunlight (photosynthesis), mushroom feeds on other organisms (living or dead), and is taxonomically more comparable to animals than plants. With lichen cover- ing 7-8 % of the planet’s surface, it’s a most common and evident example of symbiosis between species of radical different natures.
The neon sign atop of the building attempts to give these exemplary organisms attention, at the same time it alludes to sex shops and advertisements found in major cities.
The inside of the cooling tower can be viewed through peepholes in the walls. In there, wooden sculptures, depicting overgrown amphibians, dwell in the mud. Like the building itself, the sculptures are being eaten by organisms transforming dead material into new growth. Different species of fungi grow out of the sculptures. The fungi are kept damp by steam, billowing from a plateau in the middle of the room. On top of the plateau lies a flower made of sugar and isomalt. Like the stamens of real flowers, the sculpture attracts various insects, but in contrast to the pollination, which typically takes place between flowers and bees, the sculpture makes no contribution to reproduction in nature. On the contrary, it acts as a kind of false nectar, that robs nature’s real flowers of the possibility of being pollinated, since the insects will be more attracted to the artificial sugar flower.
During the exhibition period, re:prʘductiʘn will become a breeding ground for non-human life forms and human fantasies alike.