Developing on edible materials in sculpture and ceremonial performance, the show Simultaneous Melodies draws inspiration from the inter-species, symbiotic system of nutrients sharing that takes place underground before mushrooms come to light.
Simultaneous Melodies explores the formal and material beauty of mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus), which I employ to cast a series of sculptures based on classical moulds. Unlike materials like plaster or steel, mycelium doesn’t freeze in one shape, but it persists in a state of sustained instability. As it decomposes, mycelium progressively morphs into a fertile substratum out of which mushrooms can fruit, thus collapsing together the opposite processes of dying and living, of fading and growing.
In her recent volume Mushroom at the End of the World, anthropologist Anna Tsing describes the ‘patchy’ network of fungi as a model for communal structures, that runs contrary to the system of contemporary late-capitalism. Against the infinite growth of capitalist abstractions, fungal networks offer the vision of a collective body that remains always uncontrollable, unpredictable and irreducible to any brutal attempt at simplification. Simultaneous Melodies offers a timely reminder that alternative paths to our present way of life lie not only in the future ahead of us, but also in an invisible world already existing all around, and often beneath, our feet.