Ginger Glacier

By Adam Avikainen

Adam Avikainen’s works begin when “humanity” as we know it (as something beyond or in control of nature) ceases to exist, raising awareness of the multiple other actors that define our fate—from the unquantifiable organisms such as bacteria that inhabit our bodies, to the large-scale processes of geology and the planet, in whose “body” we live just like the bacteria in our belly. For the 2012 Taipei Biennial, Avikainen’s Ginger Glacier is a monstrous, quasi-mythic non-being that comes to us from a future geological age. It is pictured by Avikainen as a mutation of life growing out of all life’s symbiotic relationship to the sun. With the understanding that the sun will completely obliterate the earth in about five billion years, The Ginger Glacier is a name for what will become of our human bodies as well as all other elemental and spiritual life: a collective body composed of anarchic cellular life living and growing in symbiotic relationships, a “frozen heat wave” that “dances with the sun.”

Before us is our flesh with the tattooed portents.

A spider had somehow attached a web strand to my face and was climbing towards my nose from a pile of workbooks on the desk next to mine. I passed my hand in front of my right cheek and swung her to the floor.

Teddy bear with black button eyes and black rubber ears is asleep next to the hand pump disinfectant dispenser. The dictionary is half-black and half-pink. A blue sticker is affixed to the back of the fat, little book. Inside are some drawings on napkins that I completed in 2007 while waiting for my wife. I wasted in the coffee shop drinking bitter, while she searched for an electronic knuckle in the pickle shop towering across the highway.

“The beautiful thing about the painting language is that one never knows what exactly is being said. True stories from objective novelists working on pill fuel. Showering when they get a chance to realize their filthy fingers dripping sesame oil and skin cells on the black manuscripts clinging to sweaty forearms pressed down, immobilized for hours in neutral.”

“Are you content with the environmental lookout agency printing all those pamphlets with all those blurry photographs? : Brutal winter scenes of oil slicks on glaciers. Pink Blue marches into marsh villages.”

“Deformed spines twisting straight in preparation for a slow impact. The sound of a sludgy trumpet welcomes home a thawed soldier.”

“Sawed tailor.”

“Two people again needed to start soon. No experience demanded, but willing to negotiate in special circumstances. Call me what you will on what have you, but don’t trip over the device. Take pride in your wood-trimmed car horn which will deafen you.”

...“Stop your battles against humans or you will have nothing to fight the floods.”

“If war is good for the economy, why not wage war against your apathy.”

Flame-flaked paint. Stolen from the show.

Those carpeted bathrooms. That smelly couch.

Those cougher’s lungs. Milk and tea and cookies named after a bodily process.

“Mmmm...that circulatory juice is excellent.”

Triangles scraped into wooden belt buckles.

“Officially, it’s a biscuit. It is. I’m serious. If you had read the manual, you would’ve known not to turn it on.”

Withered extremities departing before their bodies are born.

Apprehending the sane sugar fiends in order to separate them from the bitter ice.

So much fallout from the volcano. So little we know about the trial.

“Research has failed to show anything.”

Exceeded the restraints. Quivering rodents voting in booths.

White, filmy tongue lapping up chocolate milk from the banana warehouse’s inverted ceiling.

“The pressure from Harmony cultivated many loves. Legal. Legend. Lei.”

“Modern scholastic methods are akin to caveman daycares...without the art. Overemphasis on freedom of choice. Your only choice is to live.”

“I don’t believe in the internet soul. Publish a gaggle of zit poems. Skip school, teen. Earn these. Lazy. Changing the colors and calling it a day.”

Helioscopic vision.

“Pregnant islander identified.”

“All land was an island.”

Ill-rotten rains and the free range potato chicks.

“As opposed to what?”

Closed cage.

“In this age, we respect no lifeform. Extinct animals can be reanimated with proper financing.”