“Imaginary gardens with real toads in them” is a 3D/photography series based on Marianne Moore’s poems and her stance on the relationship between human (the reader) and non-human (the subject/poem) . Fleeing encounters, incompletely grasped situations or deceptive titles – like in “The Octopus”, in their poetry there is a sense of keeping things alive by a refusal of dominance. They do not want to master the animals she/they writes about and she does not want the reader to know them fully – because total knowledge also involves mastery.
Moore lived most of their life in Brooklyn with their mother and apart from a couple of visits to the Zoo, the animals she writes about/for/with were never encountered in the flesh but mostly in magazines or books. An anti-practice of the “cabinet of curiosities” that their contemporaries may have exercised. A conceptual distancing, voluntary or not, that influences both the writer and the viewer/reader, that creates ground for new relationships with animals.
About the artist:
Saturn Akin’s practice is a conjuration of their own identity (Nb-trans). Their reflection revolves around queerness/non-binariness/transness in regard to technology, body signal sensors and translation into a coding environment. “A productive ambivalence about enlightenment conceptions of selfhood and deconstructs of the body/mind binary at its core.”
Saturn’s work is mostly inspired by black and non-black feminist and/or transgender science-fiction authors like Octavia Butler, Pamela Sargent and Bogi Takács.
They locate their projects in a future queer heritage in which ideas of planetary exode, (soft) controlling devices, living-spaceship, become vessel for emancipation and mental health care.