Sunday, March 18, 2018

Urban mushroom diary - 17 - winter 2017

Urban mushroom diary - 17 - Rotterdam, winter 2017
I'm always looking for city mushrooms in nature and culture.
Interesting to see how fungi invade our world.

On 11 November 2017 I saw these mushroom composites by Carsten Höller. At first sight they looked like random postmodern juxtapositions without further meaning. Wikipedia says:
Mushrooms became a regular feature of Höller's work from 1994. He has since realized several works with the fly-agaric mushroom, including the Mushroom Suitcase series and the Upside Down Mushroom Room. His fly-agaric replicas are large-scale and often spin or hang upside down from the ceiling.
I fully endorse this statement by the artist:
I find mushrooms incredible … their sole function is to lift their spores out of the ground to be carried away by the wind. So why do they have this immense variety of shapes, colors, and constituents, some of them psychoactive? As far as we know, they don’t communicate with other mushrooms above the ground, and they don’t use these toxins to protect themselves. There’s something else going on that we don’t understand.
On 5 December 2017 is saw a mushroom exhibit in Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam. One of the artists was growing mycelium and mushrooms as a basis for ecological materials. As always the fungal shapes were fascinating. (I forgot to note the name of the artist.) I might try it myself sometimes.
More mushroom shapes were found in the exhibit of Tal R. I liked it very much. I have bought the catalogue but I'm still in the dark about the meaning of this artwork. I expect that his obsessions have nothing to do with my obsessions. Larger than life mushrooms are spooky. Just imagine ...
And on 22 December 2017 in Den Bosch I saw this wonderful extravagant and expensive mushroom fashion. I threw away the picture with the designers name and no I cannot find it anywhere.
And in Den Bosch and later on 1 January 2018 I saw these standard banal mushrooms. I like these too. If I made art I would use these as my inspiration.

Then on 1 January 2018 in the Chaamse bossen I saw these remains of mushrooms from the last season. There are many strange dilapidates shapes that you see nowhere else. I have written about these indescribable Lovecraftian shapes before. They remind me of melting snow. The last one could be Tremella mesenterica.
But even in winter some mushrooms remain legible but (for me) indeterminate. For example I could maybe recognize the Xeromphalina Campanella but the book says that it does not grow in our region. It might also be Xeromphalina kauffmanii. Then there is the very fragile Russula that still survived into the winter. It might be Russula Torulosa.

Urban mushroom diary:
1: Start of the obsession, books, lawns, 2:Dreams, lawns, books and newspapers, 3:Gouda shop windows, 4:Rotterdam lawn, 5:Hoek van Holland wood, 6:Autumn newspapers, 7:Switzerland to Rotterdam, 8: Warffemius mushroom paintings, 9: Münster, documenta14 and Rotterdam, 10: Spore prints, 11: Dead man's fingers, 12: The lower Rhine, 13: Oostvoorne, 14: Rotterdam, 15: Rotterdam, the easy species, 16: ..., 17: Urban winter.

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