Membrane 2

Artists Kamil Kak
Genre Object
Edition Survival 20
  • 2022

The spiky typography used in this work refers to one of the ideas for how to mark permanent nuclear waste repositories. The first facilities of this kind are being built in Finland. Nuclear waste will remain dangerous for over 10,000 years. Probably no human language will be understood so long into the future. Scientists are therefore trying to find timeless symbols to signify danger. How to communicate the inevi-table risk to future people? How to discourage them from carrying out archaeological excavations and exposing themselves to harmful radiation? One of the ideas was to build giant cement spikes around the disposal sites to indicate the danger. By writing his incomprehensible manifesto, the artist builds a contrast between the hostile, hard and spiky letters and the soft fabric. Polar fleece is a material rarely worn outside; it is not trendy, but in many situations it provides protection like no other fabric. It encourages the person wearing it to stay in and relax, take care of themselves and celebrate time spent alone. The work is therefore a membrane that separates the art-ist from the outside world, an armour made out of soft fabric to keep potential enemies at bay. It is both a shelter and a barrier. The use of incomprehensible pseudo-writing hints at the oversaturation of our world with messages that should be understandable, but due to their sheer volume we are not able to process the endless stream of information. Because the work consists of elements that do not form a fixed pattern, they are arranged anew each time it is presented, making each exhibition unique.

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