Earth Eaters —
25 september - 4 october 2020
In partnership with Hoxton 253 Art Project Space
253 Hoxton St, Whitmore Estate, London N1 5LG
25th September - 4th October
Daily 12 - 8 pm
Featuring: Sol Bailey-Barker, Natasha Bird, Charly Blackburn, Ebinum Brothers, William Cobbing, Kathryn Graham, Byzantia Harlow, Gregory Herbert, Jane Lawson, Dunstan Low, Tasha Marks | AVM Curiosities, The Institute of Queer Ecology, Hannah Walton, Charlie Warde, Russell Webb, Trystan Williams, William York
Having experienced the fallout from a global pandemic, we now know that we not only anticipated the exact situation we are in (see the film Contagion for nostradamus like predictions), but we potentially could have had the vaccine for it by now. Those countries that prepared and handled it correctly, avoided death tolls that surpassed those of WW2 and international economic freefall. Why was it that we did not do something about our impending doom when we had all the warning signs? Will we now learn that lesson and take action against climate change - an outcome of which we cannot learn how to simply live alongside - and that we have known about since it was discovered in 1824 - when French physicist Joseph Fourier describes the Earth's natural "greenhouse effect"
EARTH EATERS is an alternative name for the condition Geophagia - the practice in humans and animals of eating earth or more specifically the clay and mineral content within it. It is part of a larger eating disorder called Pica - the consumption of non nutritive substances such as clay, starch, ice and chalk. This behaviour is usually found in people that have underlying deficiencies (blood cells, haemoglobin or zinc). That said, Pica has been practiced since 400BC and has both positive and negative consequences. This exhibition will explore soil’s potential role in prevention of climate change, the artistic use of soil/earth as medium, and calls on us to readdress, and promote the health of, the vital substance that we take for granted.
One of the things that makes soil such a fundamental component of any climate change mitigation strategy is because it represents a long-term storage of carbon. With news that the permafrost (the frozen layer of soil that has underlain the Arctic tundra for millennia) is now starting to thaw, we are now able to excavate mammoths from their ancient graves, and the race between world leaders to exploit the vast untapped resources of the Arctic signifies our total rejection of warning signs which we cannot afford to ignore.
By exploring the relationships between philosophy and nature, the personal and the political, destruction and construction, and considering the distinction of non-human and human agents- the works in EARTH EATERS will question what is at stake in the ecological crises of the 21st century. This will be navigated by blending diverse areas of expertise, including paintings, sculptures, videos and installations to challenge the conventional systems of classification, suggesting a worldview that strives to dislocate humans from their assumed position of centrality and superiority as knowers and actors in the world.