New solo exhibition by Bianca Hlywa opens at Gossamer Fog Gallery, London.
3rd September - 2nd October 2022
A wet life lays fermenting in pungent fluid. 200 kilos of indiscernible organic mass; a recumbent body-politic leavening billions of active microscopic beings. Symbiotic Culture Of Bacterial Yeast [SCOBY] grows first as a skin on an air-liquid interface, becoming tougher, thicker and fermenting into a beige and gelatinous microbial slab over time. This five month old colony of yeast and bacteria is etched with the metabolic cuneiform of anonymous symbiotic intimacies. Whilst SCOBY is used predominantly to create the popular fizzy probiotic health beverage Kombucha, this fleshy slab is sewn to a grid made up of webbing structures and attached to a drum at the highest point physically supported.
Biofilms contort like manipulated flesh, as life and non-life mix through orbital and linear shakers, incubation chambers, starter fluids and other alembics of this science of symbiotic fermentation. Penetrating through layered skins from epidermis to hypodermis, an interrogative intimacy is put into practise with a questionably repulsive and incomprehensible nonhuman other; an ‘other’ that sits between nature and the intention of it’s creator. Science aims to understand and analyse the results of controlled experimentation, but experiments can also be seen as a portrait of their creator’s deeper psyche. Residual Yeast enables a cultivation of imaginaries for more complex and sustainable relationships to non-human entities and the environment, yet heightens the sense of ludicrousness through its own position of stretching the bacteria to its limits.
Residual Yeasts have congregated with other symbiotic cultures to make this exhibition possible through funding and support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Council England, Robert Mcelod, Andrew Dixon, Gerard Ortín Castellví, James Green, Evie Chien and the Bird Gardens of Scotland.