Topsoil is a three-people collective integrated by Amelie Wedel,Deniz Kirkali and sofia villena
MAKE IT HOT. COOL IT DOWN. TURN IT OVER
@ Safehouse, Peckham, London.
Daniel V. Keller
[was] a three-day exhibition and event program, inviting hybrid practices, porous bodies, dirty materials and messy questions to come together. For this collective venture we ask[ed], what happens to an exhibition process when channelled through and practiced as 'compost'? We turn[ed] to the subterranean living world, in which numerous creatures mutually decompose discarded matter into rich soil, as it helped us to think about the process of coming together and engaging in a 'hot' conversation.
We are struck by the fact that compost is as much about com-position, 'putting together', as it about de-composition, and thus 'taking apart': there might be loose contact or engaged dissent, tender touch or hostile rejection. And certainly, questions permeate the pile only to be multiplied: What are the conceptual limitations of working with this organic figure of compost and how is it re-worked when pushed and pulled in different directions, when brought in contact with synthetic, manufactured, or inert materials? What are the overarching implications when waste is turned into value? Who is part of the pile and who is not?
The pile is porous and open to material and immaterial bodies, and thus takes the hostis serious, not knowing if these encounters lead to symbiotic, parasitic, fertile or dysfunctional relationships. We are curious about surprising changes that can arise from such open spaces, in which practices, bodies, sounds, and smells affect and penetrate each other.
Things might get sticky; we chew, cannot digest, spit out and imprint our insides onto the wall, so to leave traces together. How can we, the, pay attention to the traces that are latent yet not materialized in space?
Daily encounters blending an inside and outside can carry heaviness, repulsion, or violence. Are we ever prepared to evade those experiences and their tipping moments, even micro moments that contradictorily feel like joy, silliness, even extasis? From these entangled spaces, there appears the possibility of working through lacks and limitations that can be turned over into imaginative responses.
On the grid, we lose coordinates: lands of bad matter - toxic and unwanted - dissolve elsewhere. "Where will we land?" We find ourselves in the space between asking questions and not quite reaching answers, the crack beneath our feet expands - a messy limbo.