College Station, USA
9 March 2020
In collaboration University of Texas Insitute, College Station
with the co-chief scientist for IODP-ICPD Expedition 364
drilling the Chicxuclub Impact Crater
Sean S.Gulick
Chief operator Victor Zébo
Production Eva Albarran & Co and Galerie Albarran Bourdais
And with the support of the curator Marion Vasseur Raluy

Witness to the disaster
How to bear witness to something unexperienced, for example, because it happened many million years ago? The work of Angelika Markul aims at this impossible task. She wants to bear witness to the unexperienced. Moreover, she does it by creating, in a way procuring, experience of another kind. She always reaches out towards traces of events, goes to the places where she can find them, collect them, and inquire into them. And then, through a complex process of transcription, she creates the witness that testifies with a kind of aesthetic experience. Such is the case now. She goes to the place where a register is kept, or a particular script, or a book of extinction. As if she wanted to bear witness to the extinction itself. The script she reaches is highly encrypted in layers of sediments, and it bears traces of an extreme event. About 66 million years ago, an asteroid hit Earth, causing the annihilation of 75% or more of species, dinosaurs among them (the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction). A geological expedition has been sent to the impact site to drill into the seafloor to the depth of 1335 m in order to extract a core containing geological evidence. The history of the impact and the disaster it caused is inscribed onto the core, forming a material testimony. The artist transcribes without decrypting, a witness that can be borne due to the artistic technique she employs. It is the scientists who want to decipher this script (as they already have) but not the artist. She investigates the traces with her own technique to transform them into other traces – those of a unique aesthetic experience. It allows us to encounter the event by getting in touch with the artwork.
Text by Jaroslaw Lubiak