We are obtaining progressively at ease with the strategy of obtaining a neighborhood of micro organism living inside and on our bodies. Wellness authorities have confident us that we need to have to care for the “friendly” germs in our gut while the splendor business sells probiotics-infused mists and potions that will preserve our pores and skin “balanced”. But how do we sense about microbes when they do not belong to our very own microbiome? About the other microorganisms that are within and all-around us at all moments? Other people’s bacteria, for illustration? Or the viruses, parasites and fungi that inhabit us?
Anicka Yi, “Metaspore,” exhibition watch, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2022. Photograph Agostino Osio
Anicka Yi, Shameplex (depth), 2015. Set up see, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Image: Agostino Osio
In her new present at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan, Anicka Yi subverts the white, hygienic and temperature-controlled area of the art gallery by filling it with microbes, metabolic processes and will work that ferment, foam, mould and perish. And if several of them smell, it is not only mainly because they are brimming with lifestyle but also because odor -a sense that art tends to neglect- helps make us experience our assumptions about gender, race and cleanliness. That is what the artist calls the “biopolitics of the senses,” a method that highlights how our associations with smell -alongside with sight- breed prejudices and anxieties.
In her do the job, the artist utilizes microorganisms and olfactory ordeals to problem human exceptionalism and examine themes as different as the co-existence of distinct organisms, nonhuman sorts of intelligence, identification and societal violence.
As for the title of the Milan show, ANICKA YI. Metaspore, it is inspired by the biological planet. Spores are cellular reproductive units, produced by selected fungi, vegetation and micro organism, that can give rise to a new particular person without the need of the need to have for sexual fusion. Frequently performing with professionals in fields as assorted as biology, AI and the fragrance field, the artist extends the thought of spores to the procedures of proliferation and transformation that basically give lifetime to her works.
Anicka Yi, Immigrant Caucus, 2017. Set up see, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio
To enter the ANICKA YI. Metaspore exhibition, you have to stroll by a metallic mesh gate. On the ground, 3 metal tanks that glimpse a little bit like the cans applied by pest administration professionals are diffusing a scarcely detectable fragrance. The fragrance, designed in collaboration with perfumer Barnabé Fillion, was acquired by mixing the chemical compounds discovered in sweat samples collected from Manhattan’s Chinatown and Koreatown, with the emissions of carpenter ants, a species that is popular for getting particularly tricky to “control” when they are inside of or in close proximity to a house.
This pairing confronts readers with stereotypes about an anonymous mass of Asian immigrants who get the job done tricky, cook dinner smelly, suspicious foods and are living in impenetrable communities.
Immigrant Caucus indicates that smell can spark intolerance. Racism even. Odor does not regard the boundaries we build for ourselves and our bodies. It can get tangled with ethnicity and course: Who operates all day on their ft? Who can find the money for air conditioning and expensive perfumes? Who handles meat and fish?
Anicka Yi, Biologizing the Machine (spillover zoonotica), 2022 Set up see, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo Agostino Osio
Anicka Yi, Biologizing the Device (spillover zoonotica), 2022 Installation see, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo Agostino Osio
Anicka Yi, Biologizing the Device (spillover zoonotica), 2022 Installation see, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Image Agostino Osio
Designed in collaboration with the Section of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Biologizing the Device (spillover zoonotica) capabilities seven substantial exhibit cases, suspended from the ceiling. Each and every houses a Winogradsky tradition, an ecosystem of area soil, microbes, cyanobacteria and algae. The mild in the space influences the overall look and conduct of the photosynthetic microorganisms. In excess of time, people can witness their evolution. The organisms modify colors, decay, increase and move all around to produce residing landscape paintings or a new kind of extremely-slow cinema.
The ecosystem activity is monitored electronically, suggesting maybe a long term wherever hybrid devices will be communicating and possibly even collaborating with microscopic lifetime varieties. This co-existence of unique non-human varieties of intelligence may well be thrilling but the term “spillover” in the title has darkish undertones. It evokes the present-day pandemic and the uncontrollable outcomes of viruses transferring from animals to men and women.
Anicka Yi, Auras, Orgasms and Nervous Peaches, 2011 (impression by way of 47 canal)
A tiny area, paved in the type of white tiles you can discover in community bathrooms. A viscous, yellow liquid is leaking down of a single of its walls. It is not what most people thinks. It is olive oil and once you know it, you feel much less queasy about that unusual odour you detected as you approached the perform. The connections you manufactured among the sterile environment and the yellow liquid adjust and the community bathroom turns into a non-public kitchen area or a culinary lab. It is still sticky and a little bit smelly but it feels significantly less offensive.
Anicka Yi, Le Soreness Symbiotique, 2014. Installation perspective, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Image: Agostino Osio
Anicka Yi, Le Suffering Symbiotique, 2014. Installation view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Image: Agostino Osio
Le Pain Symbiotique (The Symbiotic Bread) is an inflatable PVC dome that hosts an ecosystem of natural things and a collection of artefacts. The flooring is lined in bread dough and ochre pigment, while sculptures built of glycerin and resin sculptures occupy pedestals. Visuals of microorganisms in movement are projected on to them.
Guests are not allowed to enter or go also close to the construction. Which may possibly advise that they are not desired. Right after all, it’s microorganisms, not humans, that are carrying out the heavy lifting in the bakery. Extravagant sourdough bread exists mainly thanks to the operate executed by invisible microorganisms and yeast fungus.
Le Agony Symbiotique is like a synthetic intestine: in continual movement, it ferments in the literal and allegorical sense. Probably that is why the composition is off-boundaries: to prevent the launch of intestinal gases.
Anicka Yi, Releasing The Human From The Human. “Metaspore,” exhibition perspective, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2022. Picture Agostino Osio
Anicka Yi, Releasing The Human From The Human. “Metaspore,” exhibition see, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2022. Picture Agostino Osio
Anicka Yi, 12 Synesthetic Crayons, 2015. Installation view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, 2022. Photo Agostino Osio
Anicka Yi. Metaspore, curated by Fiammetta Griccioli and Vincente Todolí, remains open up at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan right up until 24 July 2022.