From what perspective is something a ruin? When do the terms ‘no longer’ and ‘not yet’ apply? What is happening in, around and all inbetween?
We are set adrift in the space-time between our certainties, between the various outcrops we cling to for security. It is here, in the border zones of what is [...] perhaps even livable, that we can open to alterity—to other bodies, other ways of being and acting in the world—in the [...] recognition that this alterity also flows through us.
– Astrida Niemanis
At times, the narrative of progress and growth that drives the collective can overwhelmingly bring about a dystopian and apocalyptic future of terrors and indeterminate shifts of visceral status quos. The notion of ruins exposes human anxieties on the irreversibility of time and failures, which has historically evoked a nostalgia that is reflective rather than restorative. In imagining beyond industrial appropriations of value, hierarchical relations between human and other than human species and this idea of ‘Ruins’ is the possibility to look rather, to the ‘so much more out there’ and ‘never not broken’ cyclic assemblages.
If we end the story with decay, we abandon all hope — or turn our attention to other sites of promise and ruin, promise and ruin.
- Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Below the forest floor, fungal networks reveal extensive hidden collaborations that is often overlooked by human perspectives of time, scale and progress. A contemporary acceptance of disharmony, rediscovers ruins in an imaginative gaze as sites for new explorations and production of meanings. The ruin-gaze goes beyond conventional understandings of what exists there, and it’s subsequent function – suggesting that it is bigger than the sum of its parts.
With the exhibition ‘Amongst Ruins’, Studio ThinkingHand explores themes of disturbances and entanglements of polyphonic happenings. Within their works, natural elements such as fungi, lichens and flora meet and intra-act with man crafted materials such as epoxy resin, metals and concrete. In a facilitated but uncontrolled process of collapse, death and decay they are seeking to give the materials space to act with an agency that unfolds as a co-creation into the uncertain. A journey of multiple possible pasts and futures, entangled in an unpredictable and open ended mosaics of spatial rhythms and temporal arcs. Where do we place the past that could have been and the future that never took place?
Wonderland Art Space, Copenhagen
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