Endangered Species at NICODIM / Bucharest

Endangered Species
September 24 – December 5, 2020
with the artist Michiel Ceulers and Jorge Peris

Strada Băiculeşti, nr. 29, 013 193
Bucharest, Sector 1, Romania

Toward the end of the Anthropocene, a perfect virus forced humans to physically isolate themselves from one another. While fires scorched the earth and hurricanes and rising temperatures flattened and flooded it, the dominant species instead focused inward, searching for confirmation that all of this was happening for a reason, and that they could not only save their livelihoods, but achieve spiritual salvation in doing so. What will redeem us when science preaches an irreversible entropy of our own making, they cried into the polluted, disease-ridden atmosphere. The earth answered: more pestilence, more destruction.Endangered Species is an exploration of the way things were just before The End became recognisably imminent. Michiel Ceulers and Jorge Peris are ghost sharks, Invisible Men foraging through the darkness after the electricity runs out. Ceulers’ sculptural, Rube Goldbergian mousetraps would be comically cruel if they were functional in the least; they become relics of extinct belief structures in their immediate obsolescence. His wall-bound works are bricolages of found objects, acrylic paint, and partially remembered idioms. A canary in the coal mine may well be a living buffer from unseeable invaders, but it is also a charming companion. Peris creates the coal mine itself, repurposing modernist pots and furniture into shelters and altars, reminding us that the modern is already ancient history when salt stalactites are leaking through the ceiling and the floor is littered with the fossilised bronze bones of one’s former companions.