For Adrián Villar Rojas, clay suggests a time before and after human existence. "I tried to imagine how it would be to look at the planet and human culture from the perspective of an alien: absolute horizontality and lack of prejudice," he has stated. "There are no scales of values, but commitment to a deep state of detachment and distance, which is also reflected in the use of time: remote future and absence of humans; remote past and origins of life." Made to be exhibited outdoors in Kassel, Germany, the work was fabricated and first shown at the international exhibition documenta (13) as part of Return the World, a series that originated with the study of organic detritus and fragments of raw materials found at the site. The sculpure appears to be a life-size cast of the remains of a tree trunk, although it was actually inspired by an animal bone. Villar Rojas used unfired clay combined with cement to create a porous and cracking surface that seems to be on the verge of decomposing. The notion of ephemerality is a central aspect of the artist's work. As the title implies, the sculpture can be seen as an appeal to halt human activities that negatively impact Earth's geology. Villar Rojas's art focuses on processes of accumulation, displacement, and entropy to reveal the principle of causality
as captured in the transformation of materials.
Gallery label from Unfinished Conversations, March 19-July 30, 2017.