OVER ALL IS A REFLECTION ON VEGANISM & DESIGN.
WITH EREZ NEVI PANA WE TRAVELLED TO INDIA TO WEAVE, PERFORM AND PHOTOGRAPH THIS PROJECT FOR LA TERRASSE EXHIBITION AT DUTCH DESIGN WEEK 2016.
OVER ALL est une réflexion sur le lien entre design et véganisme.
Erez Nevi Pana et moi avons voyagé en Inde pour tisser, mettre en scène et photographier ce projet pour l'exposition de La Terrasse, durant la Dutch Design Week 2016.
“Religion asks followers to believe in things nobody can see, while animal rights advocates ask followers to see things nobody can believe.”
― Craig Burton
Stories, like the truth, are a figment of your imagination: an illusion created by a narrative that is embedded in all human artistry and creativity. The imaginative minds of the past, which formed divine figures, creators and supreme beings, aimed and achieved their desire to control the mindset of humanity. They formed a frame in which individuals accepted their beliefs without questioning them, relying on the group thinking, which led them to docility.
The philosophy that human beings are of a higher order of living than animals was “given” to us by deities or godly entities. It led to the approved violation and abusive behavior towards other species and living things, resulting in ongoing exploitation, abuse and suffering to those considered inferior. This consistent belief in humanity as higher in rank and superior to animals formed a violent legal atrocity in a reality that affords another kind of relationship.
Curious about our supposed superiority and the act of ranking one living thing above another, we arrived in India to examine the myth of a nation that practices a diverse approach to the dominance of certain lives. In between the sanctity of animals and the caste system that categorizes humans, we discovered an existing scheme that enables hierarchy and the positioning of humanity in a wider extent.
Influenced by the sheer quantity of gods, people, animals and materials, we formed 3 scenarios that are shaped and altered by the storytelling of the deities of Hinduism. These scenarios are a virtual attempt to exhibit man’s demotion in the imaginative and wishful vegan world that will arise 100 years from now. It aims to deal with the inferiority of humanity in a world where humans cease to be Earth's dominant intelligent life.
This project is an inventive attempt to form a glance at the here and now of animals, and to capture and assimilate certain behaviors, tactics, actions, feelings and roles demonstrating how the reality of humanity might look like in the future if we cease to be the dominant intelligent life. Each scenario deals with a different matter, and raises questions and notions that accompany the life cycle of animals today. The design process we went through involved the use of Indian spices, flowers, leaves, ready-mades and waste collected from our surroundings, in addition to Indian crafts such as pottery, spinning yarns and weaving textiles. They all come together to illustrate other forms of mortality, an imaginative reality driven by fate and the past.
The production of materials and objects that are not absorbed back into the ocean or soil results in millions of tons of waste pilling up and forming wide crusts—an accumulation of waste concealing the planet, much like a peel. This plastic “skin” covering the land is sealing inside traces of animals by products such as protein and renin. Derived from the body of an animal, these materials are locked in colorful pigments without the option to decay naturally. This peel expands and grow until it absorbs us: from a covering we are sunk. In an Indian bazaar we can barely walk through, plastic folds around our body and ropes grip us, as if a ready-made costume or a shameful mask. Bodies and matter forming an unwelcome one. The nose is exposed to smells and senses the life of a refugee in his own creation.
Over millennia, the subtle balance of elements got disturbed due to our selfish condition. Inspired by the harmony of the Jains, a branch of Hinduism whose followers tend to disturb Earth as little as possible – to the point where some sweep as they walk so as to avoid killing any insects – simplicity and contemplation will become our new base as humans.
No one is above others. Calm, the rhythm of life and contexts runs peacefully.
Giant mandala of interlocked influences.
Landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis act as a symbol of Earth claiming back its lands. We, as humans, are a mobile entity free to move around but remain linked to our settlement. Empowering herself and evolved to a higher stage of intelligence, the planet expends its vivacity and overgrows to finally re-capture other species. Forced to slow down our path, the superiority and strength of humanity eventually becomes extinct and the welcome of inferiority results with unsought acts and natures for man to practice in order to survive. Creeper starts to climb on men, moss interweaves in our hair, mud dries around our feet. Nevertheless, this camouflage still holds traces of our past domination, and plastic crumbs remain on our route. We collect, we craft and hide.
Text: Erez Nevi Pana & Inès Bressand
Interns: Juliette Le Goff & Juline Dar De Gervais