Quagmire (Den Haag)
This second phase of "Quagmire" was installed at the Gem Museum by Matt Shane and Jim Holyoak. For one month, we drew, cut, tore, and painted new fragments of paper, which were then collaged over our existing drawing (done in Montreal) to transform the piece, incrementally. This piece was shown at the exhibition: Yes, Naturally at the Gem Museum, Den Haag, NL.
‘Quagmire’ is the largest collaborative drawing installation Matt Shane and Jim Holyoak have done to date. The piece was originally created inside the MAC, where we drew on-site for several months, at night while the museum was closed to the public. A camera was set up to take photos at various intervals, resulting in a stop-motion animation that documented our nocturnal activities. In Quagmire, we have represented the swamp as a metaphorical site of disintegration and formlessness, but also of abundant life and regeneration. A swamp is in a constant state of digesting itself. Our mire-home depicts mangrove roots, vines, mud, bulrushes and lilies, as well as entire cities growing on the skin of a dead sperm whale. This shared world is one at the borderlands of wilderness and civilization, the real and the imaginary, deep time and the present. The word ‘quagmire’ can also refer to a difficult or precarious situation. It is an apt metaphor for the situation we find ourselves in as a species, dependent on the fossilized remains of an unfathomable, ancient, swamp world.