Rose Leahy

The Red Nature of Mammalga

Baum & Leahy in collaboration with Naja Ankarfeldt

Exhibited at SMK National Gallery of Denmark and University of Copenhagen as part of Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology’s art program for GREEN SLSA Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark 2018
The Red Nature of Mammalga is a performative installation fusing red algal and human bodies, articulating both the sensual and visual connection between figures across species and time. For billions of years different species of red algae have been creating conditions for biodiversity to flourish, including human life. Notably, the human body has an ancient entanglement with a certain kind of red algae (Bangiomorpha pubescens), the first known sexually reproducing organism as well as the origin of eukaryotic cells and thus evolutionary mother of all earthly mammals.

Visitors are invited to actively become one with these algal ancestors through ritual osmosis. By taking in the ‘Mantra Mammalga’ together with a small portion of red algae infused drink we celebrate an ancient and ongoing entanglement. Taking part in this visceral, immersive experience allows a dissolving of boundaries between spaces and species, as the human body merges with the blood red algae.

© Rose Leahy 2020