A golden enzyme, hailing from the esteemed Koji fungi, serves as the bridge connecting us to an ancient source of proteins found in beans.
The heart of the artwork is a laboratory bench that showcases an interplay of elements: Beans as seeds, as roots inhabited by bacterial nodules, and as flourishing plants. The Koji as blooming culture, as golden crystals, as enzyme powder, and other signifying artifacts.
The centerpiece on the table is “The Book of Etl,” which beckons the viewer into a symmetrical narrative of the alchemical quest. Within its pages lies a tale of ancient seeds and sustenance of the Mayan and Mexica civilizations. Their full potential is set free with an enzyme from the Koji fungi. Within this world, the Koji fungi blooms as microscopic flowers, golden crystals, and enzymes with the miraculous ability to unravel the indigestible elements of beans, unlocking their full nutritional power.
The book is a collection of cyanotypes in the “concertina” format used by the books or codex of the ancient Mexicans, the Mexica or Aztec, as well as other Mesoamerican cultures like the Mayans, whose nutrition, like the nutrition of contemporary Mexicans is based on the proteins of beans. The Lab for Transpecies Becomings, a work premiering last weekend as part of “Digestible”: an ambitious exhibition at Artphy with ten new commissioned works about the protein transition, a transition towards a sustainable, equitable, and balanced protein system centered on legumes.
Presenting along artists, I deeply admire, Anna Dumitriu, Špela Petrič, Nicole Spit, and Domenique Himmelsbach de Vries.
Thanks to Anne Vlaanderen and Roland van Dierendonck for making the magic happen. “The Book of Etl” was developed during a generous residency at Cultivamos Cultura and thanks to the mentoring of Mellisa Moonsoon.