June 3rd – June 30th 2012
Rowan Durrant, Alexander Hidalgo, Joanna Hoffmann, Niki Kyriakidou ,Pil and Galia Kollectiv,Joanna Mires
Curated by Martin Rasmussen
“Tiny masters of metabolism and movement are often ready and willing to associate with larger forms when environmental pressures encourage togetherness. Evolution’s menagerie is far more responsive to immediate environmental forces than the “random mutation” contingent would have us believe.”
Acquiring Genomes, A Theory of the Origins of Species, Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan, p. 20
This exhibition is inspired by biologist Lynn Margulis’ critique of evolutionary theory that emphasises systems’ tendency to organise from gradients in their immediate surroundings rather than from their own internal components. Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan, in their research, stress the importance of symbiotic or cooperative relationships between species, for instance how cells collaborate with bacteria to produce a working functioning body. Sperm cells are not racing against each other towards fertilization; it is more a matter of making sure at least one cell gets there in time; however the sperm cell is as caricature depicted as being competitive (“Whenever you feel worthless, REMEMBER you were once the quickest sperm cell” – joke found online)
Complex ecosystems have the ability to reduce gradients; as they mature, the energy and material cycles become larger in scope. Tropical forests have a superior ability to cool themselves relative to grasslands and deserts.
The works in this exhibition respond to these ideas and highlight how competition relates to one aspect of evolutionary theory only. This approach to the development of the world is very apparent in culture. Capitalism holds on to a Darwinian inspired approach reflected by human endeavor. Put simply; these ideas allow for a sigh of relief in conversations concerning inequality and how capitalism may not be operating in it most effective mode!!
Opening times: Thursday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm Museum of Contemporary Art, London
113 Bellenden Road London SE15 4QY www.mocalondon.co.uk