Mycophobia

 

Filthy, slithery, slippery. 
Rampant, feverish, famished. 
They are feeding on flesh remains. They are vigorously growing under the surface. They are obscenely exposing their private parts. Their spores are stealthily carried by the wind, unseen and unheard.

Mushrooms, mildew and mould are omnipresent and omnipotent. There is nothing they cannot desecrate. Their bodies are devouring this thing that we call culture. The project «Mycophobia» by Marine Smith is a little bit of a phantasm, a little bit of a mimesis.

The photographic paper of a small format contains laconic female portraits. These girls are models with impeccable appearance. They are radiating juvenility and purity. Their facial expressions have almost nothing to say. 

Marine took these photographs several years ago. These portraits are beautiful but dead. Marine decided to bring them back to life. She is blending paints in a glass; she is pouring them onto the glossy surface.

Acryl clots are spreading on the photographic paper. They are shimmering disturbingly and throbbing with a viscous texture. Marine is washing out the colours and their outlines. The layers are flourishing with lead and quicksilver, gaping in cobalt and copper, bleeding with crimson and oozing black.

Some of them are breaking down into sickening pink, intoxicating indigo, and suffocating whitish. A new life is being born in these odd patterns.

The girls are still there, in the photos. But they have been taken over by a fungus-like mass.

Pondering over the Buddha’s death, John Cage wrote: «The function of mushrooms is to rid the world of old rubbish. The Buddha died a natural death». Fungus-like acryl stains are cleansing Marine’s archive photos of gloss, inanity, and emptiness. 

Artificial mould is revealing the mechanics of time. Marine is outrunning the decay by taking on the work of fungi. The putrefaction temporarily steps aside, standing still in front of a fake. Death is renewed with life, order takes the place of chaos, and civilisation is absorbed by nature.

Everything carries on as usual. Life, which is changeable, unpredictable, irrepressible, repellent, eerie, and hideous, triumphs.

Acryl fungi are a part of this life. They sprang from the same impulse that the real ones emerge from.

Mycophobia is a descent into life.

Text by Anastasia Yashina