...When Grasshoppers Make Their Great Leaps

Ariel Helyes, Jess Beige

26-28th Oct @ Tête, Berlin

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If we stand before a meadow covered in flowers, full of buzzing bees, in which butterflies pantomime and dragonflies whir, over whose blades of grass grasshoppers make their great leaps, where mice scurry and snails crawl slowly onward— then, we are forced to ask ourselves, "Does the meadow present the same impression to the eyes of such different animals as it does to our eyes?"
(VON ÜEXKÜLL)

The exhibition is a collaborative effort by the two London based artists to investigate scale and attention in a series of sculptures specifically created for the occasion. This is their first join project after recently graduating from the Royal College of Art in London. According to biologist and writer Jakob von Uexküll, animals make sense of the world surrounding them based on perception marks and feedback cycles, where their actions are triggered only by the appearance of certain signs. Male grasshoppers always choose to ignore the optical image of a female one if it’s kept under a bell jar, preferring instead a synthetic recording of its voice playing through speakers. The one missing mark, in this case the voice, cancels out the whole and the female grasshopper slips out of the male’s field of attention. When Uexküll tells us about the secret life of the meadow, through buzzing bees and crawling snails he talks about strata of blindness and incomprehensibility, cutting up the familiar scene in myriad ways so it’s never to be restored. We chose the title, ‘When grasshoppers make their great leaps’ as a wishful statement of overcoming the automatic circularity of signs and action - signs we are supposedly predestined to search for and actions we can’t avoid taking afterwards; and side instead with poetic overcoming as a great leap into the dark. 

Jess Beige

(Jessica Hyun Jin Kim)