Mildred’s Lane Swarming: GANODERMA OPUS, with Clayton Lewis

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Ganoderma Opus. Photo courtesy of Clayton Lewis, 2012

Mildred’s Lane Swarming: GANODERMA OPUS, with Clayton Lewis

Saturday, November 17, 2012, 12:30 p.m.
The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, Mezzanine

These frequent visits by collaborating artists, writers, and critics at Mildred's Lane invite the public to participate in collective tasks and discussions, from hosting food-related events to explorations of creative processes related to the visual arts, writing, biology, and more. All Swarmings take place at MoMA Studio: Common Senses on an impromptu basis during opening hours, unless otherwise noted.

Affixed to the walls of the MoMA installation are various shelf mushrooms that have been collected from the forests at Mildred's Lane. All of the genus Ganoderma, these mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine as a panacea, or medicinal cure-all, specifically to extend longevity—and perhaps even attain immortality. In modern times, we recognize these mushrooms as adaptogens, medicinal herbs and fungi that energize the body by gently balancing the hormones. They are highly anti-carcinogenic, fight tumors, increase the body's natural resilience to stress, strengthen the immune system, promote longevity, and have no known deleterious side-effects. Colloquially known as the "artist's conch," they can be found on decaying trees in all 50 states, often with drawings etched onto them because, when scratched, their white undersides leave permanent dark markings.

Inspired by this image of the artist working with nature to leave a lasting impression and informed by the alchemical tradition, artists Clayton Lewis and Christine Buckley of The League of Brooklyn will spend the afternoon crafting a medicinal tincture by pulverizing, macerating, and boiling the these unique fungi. GANODERMA OPUS, or "the labor of light," serves as a prayer for the holistic health and longevity of the Mildred's Lane community and its archives. This ritual is also an act of labor to produce the Artist's Elixir, which will be sold in the Mildred Complex(ity) in Narrowsburg, NY, as a fundraiser for the Mildred's Lane program.

This event is free and participation is on a first-come first-served basis.

In conjunction with the exhibition

Image: Ganoderma Opus. Photo courtesy of Clayton Lewis, 2012