Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Chris Drury – Amanita muscaria

Chris Drury – Amanita muscaria, Christmas card, December 2008,
13 x 19 cm

fascinated by mushrooms Chris Drury wrote about a recent project (Destroying Angel) on his weblog, July 25, 2008:
The mushroom Amanita virosa - Destroying Angel - is pure white and utterly deadly if you are foolish enough to eat it. Symptoms of poisoning may take 24 hours to appear by which time it is too late to do anything. Severe vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains may last a day or more and are then followed by a period of recovery. The patient may think his ordeal is over and may be released from hospital only to die in agony within a few days from liver and kidney failure.
The name Destroying Angel has a strange pull and I have long wanted to make a work with this mushroom. With the events of September 11th and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it seemed like now was the right time. The mushroom is symbolically paradoxical: mushrooms are agents of decay, but by breaking down organic matter into soil they create the foundation of life on our planet. I like this duality; the image of a destroying angel brings to mind the fearsome sword-wielding Shinto deity, Fudo Myoo, who by cutting through the ego, liberates rather than destroys.

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