The Initiate (You) & The Mystics (Them)

3 piece organic intermedia installation // 1st part: 2 spherical terrariums inhabited by two ants colonies with 2 projections on the spheres and the floor; 2nd part: 1 automatic slide-projection with recorded sounds from a sound performance; 3rd part: 1 film projection  // 2013

The Quartier am Hafen Poll in Cologne presented from 28th September until 18th October 2013, within its annual exhibition-programme, an interdisciplinary installation by Gonzalo H. Rodríguez und Kuai Shen, curated by Anne Mager. The starting point of the installation “The Initiate (You) & The Mystics (Them)” are two of the most complex and, from a darwinistic point of view, successful social models in the animal world: ants and human beings. The social structure of the ants seem to be object of interest and fascination through-out the history of the human kind, whether as a model of social harmony and collectivity in a positive sense or as the total lost of individuality in a negative sense. Periodically, the human individual has been trying to understand the function of social life through utopian dreams (or nightmares) of collectivity, projecting them into complex animal societies, above all the ants. This recurrent association is taken by Rodríguez and Kuai Shen to be reformulated as a ritual event, which looks for the return to nature: the transformation from human to animal. This in mind the artists play with different elements of the biological research, the anthropology and the ethnographic film in a three piece “The Initiate (You) & The Mystics (Them)” where real ants, projections, and sounds mix up in a relational scenery.
This project was kindly supported by the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cultural Affairs Office of Cologne .