RIDDLEY how does one make fire again?
with Amélie Bodenmann
Benzeholz – Raum für zeitgenössische Kunst
With the exbition ‚RIDDLEY how does one make fire again?‘, DUELL is sketching post climate change landscapes and sciences, envisioning looped space and time.
In the introducory scene between a laboratory and a museum, micro landscapes of natural and technological elements and lumps are to find behind screens, in a filing cabinet and as sketches at the wall. The archaeological set-up blends with Science-Fiction aesthetics. In Russell Hoban‘s Sci-Fi novel, Riddley Walker stumbles upon efforts to recreate a weapon of the ancient world by digging iron leftovers, roughly two thousand years after a nuclear war has devastated civilization. What if, after climate change, we are going to arrive back to an archaic future that is emptied of resources, endlessly circling the planet like Mad Max? In the video installation, Riddley becomes a multi-gendered and multi-shaped prototype character. What if they‘ll forget how to make a fire? When Riddley tries to speak, objects of clay leave their mouth and grow bigger and bigger. With Riddley stagnant and exposed to a fast-moving macro landscape, with rough sketches being drawn over their body, the images empathise the brutality of racist colonial ethnological photography and address the questions of primitivity and subjectivity in the writing of history and in the making of science, in the making of space, in the making of time.
On the third floor, micro becomes macro and the exhibition concludes with a room-filling installation of brick powder that people can walk on and leave their traces. Some areas remind of excavation sites, non-identifiable tools of lead being found. Through people‘s movements, the brick powder is over time distributing on all three floors, as is the soundtrack in the staircase, providing Riddley‘s future myths as para-histories.