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a breath, the crumbling of fallen leaves

collaboration

Delphine Lejeune

Photographer

Vytautas Narkevičius

Light Design

Justas Bø

Text

Saskia Fischer

On the surface, microorganisms are destructive creatures. Through metabolizing matter, they shape-shift the appearance of substance by either dealing with or causing its dying. Patterns of behaviour emerge when organisms and microorganisms form a bond, resulting in a symphony of moulding. Changing the perspective by looking at the act of digestion through a microscopic lens places this process in a different light: an ornament is a lively death.

Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė and Delphine Lejeune’s exhibition a breath, the crumbling of fallen leaves introduces us to the visually alluring world of plant pathology. Their work sets itself in the environment it arrives from: standing underneath the little grove that surrounds apiece gallery, we look inside and see a material translation that originated in the collection of fallen leaves.

The microscopic imagery of those leaves demonstrates viral, bacterial and fungal infections and is rendered through 3D-printed objects.

The artists show us a process of metamorphosis from image to object, from word to form, from meaning to interpretation – a tender but strong fabric on which the vastly enlarged diseases cling, as if they were clutching the alveoli in our lungs.

The exhibition has us look at disease with a hint of fear, as the human eye’s incapability to see a virus or a bacterium, but seeing rot, death, decay. The brown crumbling of a fallen leaf reflects on our own mortality. What we look at is uncannily beautiful, not morbid, but very much alive and opposed to the self-consciousness of finitude. In fact, there is so much life that comes after life, it should solace us to think that death is soil and thus the possibility to live on.

It is not only the translation of visual, tangible and spoken languages that play a role. The game of scale adds a fourth vernacular to the mix: lost time.

The exhibition is open 24/7, until 20 of January, 2024

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