According to the ancient worldview of animism, natural elements and objects that surround us, have a soul, a spiritual nature. The term is derived from the Latin word “anima” (soul, breath) and refers to the moment of the Old Testament Creation story (Genesis 2,7) when God creates man from the dust, breathes into his nostrils the breath of life (spiraculum vitae) and transforms him into a living being (animam viventem).
In an age of ecological crisis and post-humanism, animism appears as an alternative in which archaic worldviews and possible futures intersect. This September, Karina Mendreczky and Katalin Kortmann Járay Kortmann, filling the abandoned location of Semmelweis Clinic, a place that gives home to Parallel Vienna, created the daytime of such an animistic space with their artworks. This installation was transformed to the basement of FKSE, as a counterpart to the former event, a night-time vision of a similarly timeless but accessible landscape. By evoking collective memories, their exhibition seeks to answer the question: is it possible to reverse the destruction that humanity has wrought on nature and itself over the last millennia?
Within their anthropomorphic sculptures, large concrete constructions and gently floating prints, human destruction is thus transformed into a new creation story in which all the grip of ratio seems to disappear. The viewer’s only accompaniment is the recurring motif of the feminine principle, which appears sometimes in the form of natural elements or in the form of embodied archetypes. Wandering around the surrealistic hybrid figures, the transfigured creatures, no one is able to tell anymore, whether it is the past past, a post-apocalyptic future, or the mystical and eerie reality.
Text and source of the sound play:
„...The Nights there, are as light as Days, by reason of the numerous Blazing-Stars, which are very splendorous, onely their Light is whiter than the Sun's Light; and as the Sun's Light is hot, so their Light is cool; not so cool as our twinkling Starr-light, nor is their Sun-light so hot as ours, but more rate: And that part of the Blazing-World where the Empress resides, is always clear, and never subject to any Storms, Tempests, Fogs or Mists, but has onely refreshing-Dews that nourish the Earth: The air of it is sweet and temperate, and, as I said before, as much light in the Sun's absence, as in its presence, which makes that time we call Night, more pleasant there than the Day...”
Margaret Cavendish: The Blazing World, 1666