The exhibition is based on two distinct but interrelated pillars: one being a deserted town in Northern Canada that was completed in 1981 to facilitate a nearby mine, and abandoned in 1983. Its remarkably intact state is due to the constant struggle to prevent the surrounding forest from reclaiming the town and is a testament to the live-in caretaker, who ensures that the lawns are mowed and the buildings are heated. The other point of departure is the unique restorative qualities of the Lion’s Mane mushroom: an edible, bulbous-looking mushroom native to the forests of North America, which has shown the remarkable ability of stimulating the synthesis of nerve growth factor in the brain. Lion’s Mane has been developed as a dietary supplement and also potentially as a medicine to be used for treating Alzheimer’s disease.
In the context of the exhibition, the preservation of the town, the uses of the mushroom, and the growing of the mushroom itself are brought together as interrelated symbols of “caretaking” and “maintenance” conjuring a surreal emotional state of something suspended in the oblique feeling of half-remembrance.