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Fluffy Grounds

April 12–July 18, 2021

Power Station of Art

Fluffy Grounds kicks-off a collaboration between Calvillo and Puig de la Bellacasa on air-soil relations commissioned for the 13th Shanghai Biennale. In the month of April, the grounds of Beijing become a magical and contested terrain. “Spring snow” turns the air white and covers the city grounds with a white fluffy tapestry that inspires love and wonder, aversion and fear. Variously referred to as a headache, nuisance, allergy inducer or pollution, this fluffy stuff
is the carrier for poplar and willow tree seeds. Trees once planted to fulfil human imaginaries of comfort start behaving as trees proper, and excess overflows and transcends the previously controlled domesticated garden. Urban paved grounds, unlike soils, cannot welcome fluffy seedlings into their soft layers of decomposing litter. Humans become hostile to their wild behavior and the tree is rejected as a source of discomfort—along with other interspecies
relations, as hairy moths attracted by poplars join the count of “natural pollutant” agents. Through poplar seeds close-ups, graphic visualizations, and experimental storytelling, the video explores the tousled nature-cultural materialities of this white swirling stuff.

The 13th Shanghai Biennale exhibition has been curated by Andres Jaque with Marina Otero, Lucia Pietroiusti, YOU Mi and Filippa Ramos, and can be visited at the Power Station of Art museum (Shanghai).

Fluffy Grounds, directed by C+arquitectas, has been produced with the support of UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (grant number AH/T00665X/1), the Centre for Digital Inquiry (University of Warwick) and A/C Accion Cultural Española.