First exhibited at Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark, 2015
Installation: print on silk, paper and plastic, display freezer with a piece of the Murchison meteorite, curtain, video, pleather, copper, sound.
Photos: Jette Hye Jin Mortensen
Text by Anders Gaardboe Jensen
“In Cut. Expand. Digest. Disperse. The Murchison Monologue, Hye Jin Mortensen challenges the idea about the basic building blocks which creates and defines human culture, our rhythms and tools, in a fertile and speculative way. The exhibition is based on the complex and carbonaceous molecular structure of the Murchison meteorite. The meteorite which hit the Earth in fragments in 1969, near the town of Murchison, Victoria in Australia, is the foundation for much of our knowledge about the early solar system and - not at least - the origin of life as we know it.
Crucial to Hye Jin Mortensen is also the Murchison meteorite’s content of extraterrestrial amino acids which might be the very foundation for life elsewhere. Through a monologue concerning life on earth, Hye Jin Mortensen stages a fragment of the Murchison meteorite as the actual protagonist of the exhibition. This shift in perspective allows other positions of utterance and forms of consciousness than human, which opens up a larger contextual story about the complex life forms of earthly life. This starting point which deals with the myth of creation is a central structure in the exhibition’s visual manifestation and the organic patterns, crystallization processes, and sculptural objects which populate it - all molded using handmade tools from biochemical models. The exhibition also includes a series of silk fabrics, which are used as references to the silkworm, Bombyx mori, whose domesticated variant is distinguished by major transformations in its lifetime, and whose survival is completely dependent on human beings. The exhibition thus also becomes a story about how life forms are part of a productive symbiosis with the environment. Moreover, the silkworm and the processing of silk are dependent on ancient crafts and cultural traditions. The involvement of the cultural history of silk constitutes a system of metaphorical and material relays, through which nature and human are redefined. There is an element of expectation and experiment to the exhibition in all its cosmic mystery. Its dizzying perspective in many ways defies the linear logical development, thereby questioning the possibilities, that science present us with. Not least the question of what version of our history is the dominant one, in the larger narrative of the evolution of our planet. The exhibition is a dramatic reconstruction of nature and man, and at the same time, it has the character of a continuous transformation process with its elementary building blocks, which turn into tools, which not only work as esthetic production models, but also to some extend become anthropomorphic, as if they contain a (self) consciousness.
In other words, Hye Jin Mortensen is interested in the complex ways that culture produces science and science produces culture. In this way, the exhibition has no beginning and no end. Instead it creates differences, ambiguities, and paradoxes. Cut. Expand. Digest. Disperse. The Murchison Monologue represents an expectant, progressive and bilateral attempt simultaneously to grasp the idea of a radical Otherness and the ultimate connectedness of everything.”