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The Aalto Natives – A Transcendental Manual

This manual accompanies the installation The Aalto Natives realised for the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia by Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen. It reveals the full story of Geb and Atum, two terraforming mythical creatures who are floating through space in a vessel shaped not unlike the structure of the Aalto Pavilion.

Exercising the all-encompassing knowledge that egg-borne mystical beings are typically blessed with, Geb and Atum mediate between the banal reality of objects and creatures, and the infinitely more advanced structures that lie beyond it. Along their mission of rebuilding Finland Geb, the wise father, and his rational-empirical son Atum, struggle to deal with the persistent faults, glitches, and transcendental mistakes they encounter in the formative stages of New Finland’s national development.

In the experience of Geb and Atum, culture presents itself as an eternal feedback loop of trial and error, a scatological dialectic of production and consumption, of shiny façades and vulgar essences, of bad mantras and glitchy technology, of sophisticated neanderthals and cosmic ducks. In all its grotesque display of failing social contracts and polarizing populism, it is surprisingly similar to the world we are living in today.

In short, this manual will guide you towards a more transcendental understanding of the human spirit. Please use it.

The Aalto Natives – A Transcendental Manual is designed by Studio Remco van Bladel, Amsterdam and published by Mousse and Frame Contemporary Art Finland.

Texts and images by Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen.

 

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