July 31, 2020

Is 10,000 Years Enough to Get Over Loss?

Yulia Kovanova

Multimedia InstallationAnachronic, 20196x2 Metres

Originally presented at Edinburgh Art Festival 2019, this multimedia installation explores the ideas of loss and absence. A pile of real soil, spanning almost six metres and studded with numerous plaster casts of avocado stones of varying shapes and sizes. The sculptures are absolute white; their hue missing to mourn the loss of an entangled relationship. Over 10,000 years ago, the six-meter tall giant sloth, attracted by ripe avocados, would swallow the entire fruit and its pit, helping to disperse its progeny far and wide. These animals are long gone, and none alive are large enough to swallow the fruit whole. Yet the fruit hasn’t caught up to this reality, continuing to call for its lost partner. These are what biologists call “evolutionary anachronisms” – relationships out of time. Through the accompanying sound piece, by composer Lars Koens, absence becomes more pronounced, conveying the presence of the gargantuan giant sloth. With nearly two thirds of animal and plant life lost in the last half-century, many scientists believe we are entering or in the midst of sixth mass extinction. This piece is a call from ‘deep time’, reminding us of vulnerable interspecies connections, that even after thousands of years lie unresolved.