A Tale Of A Tub

Exhibition Onsite from 16 November 2019 to 26 January 2020

Mycelium as Lingua Franca

A group exhibition with Lizan Freijsen, Dominique Koch, The Mycological Twist (Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot), Dries Segers, Jenna Sutela, and Wouter Venema.

As fall manifests itself, water and fungi are seeping from the soil, through the crevices of A Tale of a Tub’s concrete basement, into our subterranean exhibition spaces. Perhaps contrary to expectations we are pleased to welcome different microorganisms, bacteria, fungi and the mycelium—the underground filaments of fungi—as our autumnal subjects of study and examination. The exhibition Mycelium as Lingua Franca engages a group of artists sharing an interest in fungi, and, by extension, in the words of anthropologist Anna Tsing, the ways in which mushrooms enable us humans to think about the possibilities of life in capitalist ruins.

As mushrooms have proved to be a resilient form of life in the current man-made climate regime, capable of growing in polluted industrial environments deemed uninhabitable, the exhibition leaps from the human communities of the ‘world wide web’ to the ‘wood wide web’: a complex and vast planetary communication network, consisting of collaborations and exchanges between trees and fungi. These underground hyphal networks, named mycorrhizae—referring to the role of the fungus in the plant’s rhizosphere (its root system)—oftentimes establish mutualistic and symbiotic associations between a fungus and a plant. The plant produces organic molecules such as sugars by photosynthesis and supplies them to the fungus, in turn the fungus supplies the plant with water and mineral nutrients subtracted from the soil.

Let us think of the forest and the mycelium as a field of mind, analogues to the human brain, with similarities in structure, chemistry and synapses, and with equal dependence on basic building blocks such as carbon, nitrogen and water. What do fungi and the mycelium teach us, and how do they question our human minds and our actions? Could we envision to adopt the mycelium as a shared language—a lingua franca—aimed at symbiosis and selfless reciprocity between different modes of existence, away from tired concepts in which progress is based on growth, accumulation, homogeneity through land colonization for monocultural farming, and ‘fossil expressionism’? As soon as we start practicing the art of noticing we may hear the mycelium say: “We are more than one, we are legio, we are in this together…”

This exhibition is made possible with the support of the City of Rotterdam, the Mondriaan Fund, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Abteilung Kultur Basel-Stadt.

MALF1
Dominique Koch, Holobiont Society, 2017. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF2
Dominique Koch, Holobiont Society, 2017. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF3
Wouter Venema, Nachtatlas, 2017-present (series). Installation shot. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF3DETAIL
Wouter Venema, Nachtatlas, 2017-present (series). Installation shot. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF4
Lizan Freijsen, 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF4DETAIL
Lizan Freijsen, 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF5
Wouter Venema, Nachtatlas, 2017-present (series) & The Mycological Twist (Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot), 2019. Overview shot. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF6
The Mycological Twist (Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot), 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF6DETAIL
The Mycological Twist (Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot), 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF7
Dries Segers, Fungi, 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF9
Dries Segers, Fungi, 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF9DETAIL
Dries Segers, Fungi, 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF8
Dries Segers, Fungi, 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF10
The Mycological Twist (Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot), 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF10DETAIL
The Mycological Twist (Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot), 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF11
The Mycological Twist (Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot), 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF13
Lizan Freijsen, Tubmos, 2019. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF14
Jenna Sutela, nimiia cétiï, 2018. Installation shot. Photo: LNDWstudio
MALF12
Dominique Koch, Holobiont Society, 2017. Installation shot Photo: LNDWstudio