RELIKTE (2021)

Installation at Brookes University, Oxford (UK)

Relikte (2021) is an Installation realised at the Oxford Brookes University in December 2021. 

The Installation includes elements of the artists piece‘Untitled (Glass Slides)’, 2021 and three different shaped objects made out of recycled glass

Imagine living in a society following the end of our own civilisation. The destruction and pollution that we are causing every day has finally led up to the inevitable – an Apocalypse that marks the end of humanity as we know it. Nature takes back over and after a while, a new civilisation inhabits planet earth. And in the same way that we are looking back at the Roman Empire or the Ancient Greek, this new civilisation looks back at us and what we have left behind.

This exhibition is made possible by the Association for pre-Apocalyptic Life (APAL) who kindly lend us the following relics from their archive. Relikte (engl. Relics) is a compilation of different objects and images found during archaeological excavations at this property. It is assumed that there has been a higher learning institute (a so-called University) at this same place around 200 pre-Apocalypse (PA). What we now recall as the Plastic Age has been mainly influenced by the so called Late Modern Civilisation that populated Planet Earth between the 19th and 21st century AD (around 450 PA till Apocalypse). Unlike other human civilisations before, this period of humanity has influenced life on this planet in such an extensive way that we can still see their impact in about every eco-system (Islands of Plastic, Animal Mutations, Pollution of Water). Historians believe to have found an explanation for this phenomenon in the social system of that time. The Late Modern Human lived in a system that prioritized the Individual and was driven by constant power struggles. Archaeological finds have shown that over the years of their existence the Late Modern Civilisation has established a destructive system of consumerism. To feed their constant drive to accumulate new goods, the Late Modern Human build cities of factories, cleared strips of land to grow resources for their production lines and created Islands of waste. Historians are still in the dark about whether the Late Modern Human knew about the danger they created for themselves. By now, scientists across the planets are sure that the thereby released pollutions caused the Great Apocalypse.

Unlike most exhibitions about the Late Modern Civilisations, Relikte doesn’t show objects made from plastic. Instead, it focuses on another great polluter – glass. Glass pieces had by far a much smaller influence on the eco systems of Planet Earth. But just like plastic or radioactive waste, it is one of the Late Modern Human materials that decomposes slowly. It therefore gives us an interesting view on Pre-Apocalyptic Life.