How might an exhibition be guided by ants?
Humans have forgotten how much we owe to the ants, who were the great innovators of complex societies like our own, and once our greatest teachers. Many contemporary humans look at ants, if they look at them at all, with an unquestioning sense of intellectual and moral superiority, seeing ants as interchangeable, unthinking, machine-like. If ants are represented in museums at all, it is usually as pinned exhibits in natural history collections, rather than as producers of complex cultures. To address this, Feral Practice invited a community of wood ants to work on this exhibition as co-curators and guides. Together, they explore some of the complex histories and earthly wisdom that ants have brought to humans over the millennia.
The Ant-ic Museum utilises materials, forms and themes influenced by the perceptual and semiotic priorities of ants. Three new sculptures bring the domed shape of the wood ant nest into dialogue with human architectural forms – the ziggurat, the stupa, the geodesic dome. Audio and video works embedded in these sculptures offer intimate views of the wood ants’ world.