Max Estrella is delighted to present Eugenio Ampudia’s most recent work. This is his fourth solo show at the gallery. The title, Reason is a plant, is inspired by Italian philosopher Emannuele Coccia’s line “Reason is a flower”. Here the author encapsulates a cosmographic design from the plant’s perspective. The works presented, Concert for the Biocene and A Glorious Accident, embody Ampudia’s latest research on the necessity of reformulating the present from post humanist postulates and eco-social compromise.
The first was hosted by the artist at Barcelona’s El Liceu Teatre in June, on the occasion of the institution’s reopening after the end of lockdown. Ampudia creates a concert for plants as a symbolic action for a paradigm swift. A total of 2.292 plants, the full capacity of the theatre, enjoyed Giacomo Puccini’s piece “Crisantemi” by a string quartet. The exhibition includes the record of this action with four photographs and a video piece, as well as an art installation that recreates the occupation of the theatre by plants.
The concept Biocene –suggested by Blanca de la Torre, curator of the action–replaces the term known as Anthropocene, which defines the most recent history of deterioration of our planet due to human impact. Biocene, therefore appeals to the beginning of a new era that finally places life in the center.
A Glorious Accident is a kinetic modular sculpture that represents organisms –cells, bacteria and unicellular beings– that inhabited the waters of the primal ocean. Ampudia steers his interest towards their evolution into diverse complex forms of life with a high level of conscience. His reflection questions the conscience of being and its implications. What we are and what we are made of, when we started being, which part of us is what makes us us, and the concomitances of this type of conscience with that of plants.
With this exhibition, Ampudia seeks to bridge the gap between ethics and aesthetics, embracing the first with the aid of Rosi Braidotti’s definition of it. The Italian philosopher sustains that ethics are a fragile barrier facing the possibility of extinction, and claims the importance of connecting in an ecological and responsible manner with our territory.