Project developed by Paloma Ayala
, Jeanne Jacob
, and Riikka Tauriainen
within the frame of Tauriainen's exhibition INTIMACY OF STRANGERS
The margins in a snail body, we thought, are mediated by slime. Slime is a vibrant matter (J. Bennett) with tangled molecules, both a liquid and a solid depending on its relational description, that creates a sticky infrastructure. Erotic filaments, protective shells, permeable skin, mucilaginous sounds, intertwine in the ambiguous space that slime provides. When does the body of a snail end; if its osmotic permeable skin and the slimes on which it glides, confuse the limit?
The snail has an extensive body (S.L. Star), a queer hermaphrodite body, a fluid body whose shell-house hosts spaces of us and the other. The host and the hosted were viewed under this slimy regime in which everything is binded to everything else, human and more than human. «Hospitality if unconditioned, may create a new vital assemblage in which them and us are simultaneously diverse and the same.» (M. Puig della Bellacasa)
Yet, the strongest nod of conversation was created by Achatinellas story of death, which in the articles that were shared, was displayed as the death of George more than the extinction of a species. We then opened questions rooted in our needs to understand the more than human world by self-projection. The anthropomorphic project that humans implement on the planet questioned some notions of care that we deem fundamental in our artistic practices. We thought of love, compassion, empathy towards Earth and non-human, as a speculative commitment that, if not always positive, has the potential to guide and energize change, as well as be an ethical account for our actions as species.
This process-based performative video explores slime as binding matter and snails as nods of connective tissue. Our host-habitat was the exhibition «Intimacy of Strangers» by Riikka Tauriainen, and her concepts developed within a practice of tentacular thinking
*We shared several texts, stories and personal accounts in order to create this work. The authors or sources are: Gloria Anzaldúa, Donna Haraway, Maria Puig della Bellacasa, Mary Douglas, Susan Leigh Star, Virginie Despentes, Jane Bennett, Thom van Dooren, Kate Rigby, Ursula K. Le Guin, Paul B. Preciado, Ellen Bass, Elizabeth Bishop and Karen Barad.
Heartfelt thanks to Anne-Sophie Mlamali, Sabrina Negroni and Lena Pfäffli from sic! Elephanthouse for being a shell to our imagined snail body.