“The most perfect example of the group soul can be observed in our own bodies. The human body is composed of a number of organs, each connected by a visible or invisible thread to a central point, the brain. Each organ is in constant activity and has a separate purpose – at least the purpose appears to be separate and independent; but on closer observation we find that all the organs are really working for a communal purpose. The influence dominating all the organs comes from one central point. In no single organ can we find a real independent purpose.”
(Eugène Marais, The Soul of the White Ant)
White Termite, owes its' title to The Soul of the White Ant, a literary work that can be classified as an historic document... This collection of essays by renowned naturalist and poet Eugène Marais, was first published in 1934 and his observations had a significant impact on science. In the 21st century due to a growing interest in the biomorphic (especially in the fields of Architecture and design), this book has resurfaced as one of the most thorough and significant studies ever conducted on the topic of termites. Termites are strategic in an involuntary way; it’s in their nature: They never rest, never sleep and are sexless, blind and both master builders and forces of demolition. Because of their size, individual actions are almost invisible to the human eye, but the results of the combined efforts are often monumental.
In White Termite all the parts relate to the whole; flashes within a larger universe of blues. Central is the installation of 5 small porta-pool wishing wells: a tongue-in-cheek reference to water as life-giving source that evolved and transformed over time to provide the lifeline that connects the parts to the whole. Water as natural substance is sabotaged by digital projections and the collaborative process (the ongoing crocheting performances).
text by Liza Grobler