[…] consciences shifted from collective faith, […], to the most bitter observation according to which a gigantic economic-political machine strictly destined to produce, discipline and consume was installed without pause. (1)
And there we find ourselves, in the bitterness of an individualised system of neoliberalism that beats us mercilessly over and over again. We live in a society where we are taught with insulting parental discipline that destroying is much more profitable than building, where we are taught that short-term (false) personal satisfaction is the ultimate goal of our existence.
Mass production of genetically modified seeds costs just pennies, the use of these genetically modified seeds requires pesticides that pollute the land, leaving behind a whole series of residues that seriously affect the health of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and, therefore, impact the survival of all species that come into contact with them. Science – with all its meanings and possibilities – allows us to know more about the world we inhabit but, ironically, it also facilitates its destruction. This dangerous lack of emotion and bond with the environment, this denaturalisation of humanity in an increasingly technological world means that the chief concerns of citizens focus on immediate benefit, downgrading environmental protection in their pyramid of personal motivations. Thinking about caring for nature means thinking about the future and, especially, taking a friendly and collective perspective, which is completely opposed to the current dictatorial global economic model.
Looking back to a rose-tinted past brimming with nostalgia and fable is no use to us; we must land firmly in the present, identify the current situation and propose a model that allows us to glimpse with some optimism a common and plural scenario in which evolution and environmental protection can go hand in hand. Mycelium represents this very position. Both Luna Bengoechea (Gran Canaria, 1984) and Esther Elena Pea (Tenerife, 1994) provide a space to investigate and reflect on the indissoluble relationship between human being and nature, indicating that another world is not only necessary but possible.
On the one hand, Bengoechea delights us with attractive images of fruit tree blossom that will quickly be disturbed by ultraviolet light, revealing skulls made with photoluminescent paint and delving into readings linked to the vulnerability of life or the (in)fertility of nature. Pea, on the other hand, presents an amalgam of photographs that the artist herself took in ravines and rural areas of Tenerife where sugar cane, an invasive species on the Canary Islands, continues to grow wild and unchecked. Pea encapsulates snapshots in sugar glass, establishing a dialogue between the concepts of fragility, durability and uncertainty.
These two artists, concerned about dangerous human passivity, present an exhibition where the public becomes active participants, revealing information through the light of lanterns (Bengoechea) or moving sugar glass (Pea) and, incidentally, discovering their own power and responsibility as citizens. The creators immerse us in a proposal where time and the inescapable processes of change become the protagonists of an exhibition that is a call for action, protection and struggle, which makes it clear that tempus fugit is not only a trite Latin figure of speech, but a violent reality.