HD Video, Digital Prints, Vinyl Wall Text
Presented in The Ultimate Capital is Sun: Metabolism in contemporary art, politics, philosophy and science
nGbK / neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin
Curated by: Elena Agudio, Dorothee Albrecht, Bonaventure Ndikung, Matteo Pasquinelli, Eylem Sengezer**
Yatağan is a small town located just outside of Muğla, the west cost of Turkey. It is surrounded by pine forests and hosts one of the largest coal burning thermal power plants in Turkey.
A center of controversy. A story. A power plant. Coal. Pollution. Islamist government. State oppression. Neoliberal mandate. Privatization. Business as usual. Nothing personal. Sell. Adapt. Die. Workers. Resistance. Strike. Repeat. Lost battles. Just corpses. No souls. Jobs. Families. Homes. Bodies. Decaying bodies. Sad bodies. Collective bodies. Still bodies. Organized. Disorganized. Company unions. Politicians. Management. Law. Order. Police attack. Ferocity. Counter-attack. Relentlessness. Repeat.
Overexposed. Particles. All suspended. Excessive whiteness. Light. More light. Skins burn through the fog. Luminosity. Haze. Curse. Land expands. Layers of layers. Curtains. Mounts. Pipes. Membrane. Awareness. Noticing but not seeing. Not listening. Noise. Just noise. Opinionated white. Pictures accumulate. Rip apart isolation. All blue. Just like soil. Nature.
Constant decomposition. Rotting rocks. Harmony. Resistance to decay. An impossibility. A possible composition. A temporary solidarity of all living things. Capitalist encapsulation. Oh progress. Self-contained. Self-valorized. A temporary relationship with permanency. Wilderness. Savagery. Vicious and primitive accumulation. Horrors of encounters. Artificial peace. No environment. Just men. All is man-made.
Fall-out. Visible. Particles suspended in the air. Wind. Only occasionally refreshing. Inhale. Exhale. Rabbits cannot breathe. Exploit. Use. Valorize. Power plants. Monuments of humanity. A total resource. Seed. Exhaust. Coal. Energized by heat. Motivated by progress. Innocence of intoxication. All that remains. Extract. Process. Engineered community. Plasticity. Enclosed areas. Social Services. Remnants of a glorious past. Cough. Sleep. Work. Eat. Shit. Repeat.
** Curatorial Text:
The Greek word metabolē meant originally to change and, literally, to throw over. In times of worldwide human-made transformations, climate change and ecological awareness, expanding and exploding the notion of metabolism seems to be crucial to understand present and future politics. The exhibition investigates the understanding of ‘metabolism’ in contemporary art in a dialogue with philosophical and scientific research beyond Eurocentric rationalization.
Biological metabolism is a process that constitutes living beings in their continuous exchange with their environment. Photosynthesis, for instance, struggles to capture and condense solar energy at the basis of the food chain that sustains the whole biosphere. For the parasitic relation of terrestrial life with the outside cosmos, French philosopher Michel Serres in his book The Parasite once defined the sun as our energetic horizon and the very ‘ultimate capital’.
Like many other scientific ideas, as soon as the concept of metabolism emerged in the 19th century chemistry and biology, it generated a contagious fascination in art and politics. Marx himself registered the ‘metabolic rift’ provoked by the industrial revolution and envisioned a ‘social metabolism’ long before environmentalism. However today the human appears to be made also of the non-human, of a heterogeneous stratification of minerals and microorganism, including machines, synthetic materials and immaterial data.
The exhibition The Ultimate Capital is the Sun brings together artists, philosophers, scientists and curators to explore various grounds of metabolism with no desire to establish a centre of gravity.
Artists: Pedro Barateiro, Ricardo Basbaum, Paolo Bottarelli, Anne Dukhee Jordan, Wietske Maas, Amina Menia, Yves Mettler, Pratchaya Phinthong, Timur Si-Qin, Sun Xun, Hakan Topal and Clemens von Wedemeyer.
With texts by Dipesh Chakrabarty, Reza Negarestani and Beatriz Preciado.