The project was conceived and designed by Goshka Macuga (Warsaw, Poland) whose artistic practice is often referred to as taking on the roles of an artist, curator, collector, researcher and exhibition designer. Macuga works across a variety of media including sculpture, installation, photography, architecture and design.
“To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll”, developed by the artist for Fondazione Prada’s spaces, is the culmination of a lengthy period of in-depth research attempting to formulate a methodological categorization of material and information around seminal issues such as time, beginnings and endings, collapse and renewal.
In the exhibition Goshka Macuga explores the art of rhetoric and artificial memory as intricately linked tools for the organization and advancement of human knowledge. Historically, the “Ars memorativa” (the art of memory) created the foundation for artificial memory by expanding and developing natural memory through complex visualizations that would aid the recall of specific information.
Observing humanity’s concern with the conclusion of mankind, Macuga poses a fundamental question: how important is it to address the question of “the end” in the context of contemporary art practice? Our ability, as human beings, to conceive the universe abstractly and to imagine ourselves objectively allows us a vantage point from which to view the age we are living in as one of the many in our universe’s history, leading us to imagine an existence beyond ourselves, a universe without humanity.
In such an end-time scenario, some have speculated on the role of technology and robots as potential contributors to humanity’s extinction and successors to its dominance.