From Mexico to Svalbard-Arctic Ocean
Svalbard Global Seed Vault / Mine #3
AGRI-CULTURES / SEED.LINKS EXHIBITION
The work is inspired by and pay homage to -La Milpa-, a traditional and historical agricultural system from Maya and Mesoamerica civilization that produces maize, beans, squash and chile. A series of artworks that appeal to Milpa´s symbolic and cultural significance, increasing the imaginary of its cycles, stages, interactions, biodiversity and cosmovision through poetic dialogues. The artwork explores diverse substrates and media, such as drawing, photography, literature, body, bio-sculpture and living sculpture.
SVALBARD GLOBAL SEED VAULT
This deep cavern carved inside a frozen mountain on the Arctic island of Svalbard currently holds over one million samples of the world’s seeds. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault holds a global collection of seeds from all around the world. It stores ‘back-up’ copies in case disaster (fire, flood, civil war) strikes the genebanks holding the original seeds. With over one million seed samples now stored on Svalbard, the Global Seed Vault is an incredible achievement of science and diplomacy. However, this incredible effort to preserve the biological diversity of seeds, omits the rich cultural diversity required to generate and maintain this agricultural biodiversity.
AGRI-CULTURES / SEED.LINKS EXHIBITION
In June, when the new deposit arrived to Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a collection of artworks has been also interred in the mountain alongside them. This exhibition serves as a reminder that seeds live within vast webs of interrelations – ecological, socio-technical and cultural – and that these connections are also worthy of celebration and preservation.
Agri/Cultures.Seed-Links Exhibition aims to celebrate and honor the fertile bonds between biological and cultural diversity in agri-food systems through artistic approaches. In order to preserve the cultural heritage of the seeds, the Agri / Cultures Project initiative seeks to create a link with this significant place. -The Svalbard Global Seed Vault- through the deposit/plantation/burial of artistic works inside the mountain where the Vault is located. Art works that speak to the bio-cultural connections in agriculture and the links seeds have to society, ecology and culture through their presence within agri-food systems.
On June 9, 2019, Seeds InService deposited a collection of art works inside a frozen mountain on the Arctic island of Svalbard. From the Agri/Cultures Project and Seed Cultures Initiative:
In a deep cavern carved inside a frozen mountain on an island high up in the Arctic lies the most biodiverse room in the world. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault holds over one million samples of seeds from all around the world. However, the Seed Vault contains no information about the cultural significance of seeds; no stories about how they are cultivated, by whom, for what purposes, using what rituals, etc. The seeds are frozen in isolation from all the social practices, ecological relations, and cultural histories that give them life.
The Seed Cultures Initiative seeks to create an archive of visual artworks to help conserve the cultural heritage of seeds. Its aim is to celebrate the way seeds live within vast webs of interrelations and to honor the fertile bonds between biological and cultural diversity in agri-food systems.
Mine # 3 is located a few meters from the Global Seed Vault of Svalbard. The mine was the first model for the Vault, and currently functions as a bio-experimentation repository.
EXHIBITION AND DEPOSIT
The Agri/Cultures.Seed-Links Exhibition was held in the former cinema Huset in Longyearbyen. As a closing ceremonial activity, the invited artists, packed and sealed their works inside black boxes, so they could be deposited the next day inside the mountain as cultural memories. The next day, they entered the old mine – Mine # 3-
x-studio : : Ivan Juarez
curator: Dr. Fern Wickson
drawing series: Lola Cervant
photographs: x-studio : : Ivan Juarez
photograph Ivan Juarez´s deposit: Anna Laurent