4 rooms in A Clearing in the Forest
Discover artists exploring land rights and ancestral knowledge systems through textiles
Enmeshed, located in the East Tank, expands on the themes of ecology, ancestral ritual and cycles of time explored in A Clearing in the Forest. It centres the restitution of land rights and preservation of pre-colonial ways of relating to the world around us. Stucturing the space, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s installation Reveries of an Underground Forest stands in three groups, making a home for other artworks works nested in between. Her research-based work engages with traditional textiles and digital maps to reflect on legacies of colonial displacement – themes which resonate with each of the artists on display.
In the centre of the space, a pool of sand acts as a point of welcome. Artist Léuli Eshrāghi is reflected on its surface while their voice fills the room. They offer a vision of a possible future in which Indigenous concepts of time, space, pleasure and collective knowledge are reconciled. The pool forms part of the artist’s site-specific presentation of their ongoing series Siapo viliata o le atumotu, which includes the silk banners flowing down from the ceiling.
Stephanie Comilang and Simon Speiser’s virtual reality installation Piña, Why is the Sky Blue? connects the matrilineal traditions of Ecuador and the Philippines through an imagined artificial intelligence named Piña. The work is paired with three textile collages composed of 3D-printed pineapple cloth. Together, they propose a techno-feminist future shaped by the preservation of pre-colonial knowledge systems.
At the back of the space, Alan Michelson’s Wolf Nation is projected intermittently in a clearing amongst Büyüktaşçıyan’s ‘forest’. The video is a meditation on ecology, survival and displacement composed from webcam footage of red wolves – an endangered species endemic to the eastern United States. Wolf Nation is scored by musician Laura Ortman, whose soundtrack reverberates the wolves’ howls along the Tank’s curved walls.