• GEM LAB

Ilona Jurkonytė's audiovisual exhibition, Arabidopsis Thaliana, featured at MAMBO

The Museum of Modern Art Bogota exhibit runs from March 25th until August 1st

Image courtesy of MAMBO official website

Arabidopsis Thaliana, an audiovisual installation by GEM Lab member, curator, and researcher Ilona Jurkonytė, in collaboration with artist Santiago Reyes Villaveces, is currently exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art Bogota (MAMBO). Arabidopsis Thaliana refers to a particular planetary moment in 1982, when a team of Lithuanian scientists “succeeded in growing a full cycle of Arabidopsis thaliana, a specimen plant, in outer space.” The exhibit weaves an alternative history out of radio, television, and digital archival materials from the period to “tell a microhistoric tale of the loneliest plant in an expanded ecosystem” (Jurkonytė and Villaveces 2021). The work, which “investigates the potential for the expansion of the notions of environment and landscape,” is part of MAMBO’s 2021 exhibition cycle Landscape, Nature, and Territory: The Resilient Quality of Life Under Extreme Circumstances, and runs from March 25 to August 1st. Find out more about the exhibit here.


From the exhibition dossier: "At the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá (MAMBO), the layout of the Arabidopsis Thaliana exhibition space is a 360 degree five-screen projection, inspired by the shape of the human vestibular apparatus, our main gravity sensing organ located in the inner ear. The sound of the installation fluctuates between transparency and hypermediation. 5.1 surround sound offers immersive natural soundscapes that are being interrupted by glitches and noise, creating awareness of technology, its mistakes, the accidental, the unintended, and the unforeseen. Through natural and modified sounds of the Amazon and rural Colombia, the composition invites into an impossible Macondian science fiction, which presents a fable of colonizations and attempts to counter them, even beyond Earth. The soundscape is created in close collaboration with Andrés Silva, a Colombian sound designer (The Embrace of the Serpent, dir. Ciro Guerra, Birds of Passage, dir. Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego, Tropical Virus, dir. Santiago Caicedo and Paola Gaviria, Suspension, dir. Simón Uribe, etc.)."


Jurkonytė is also a co-founder of the 2019 Kaunas International Film Festival in Lithuania. She has recently published an open response to the event, and her reflections on how the concept of “artist’s moving image (AMI)” is impacting “moving image production, its economy, and film culture.”