FABIEN GIRAUD AND RAPHAËL SIBONI THE EVERTED CAPITAL

We have just wrapped up the first part of Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni’s epic project at Mona. The first part, called The Unmanned, comprised eight films depicting a history of computation in reverse: beginning in 2045, with ‘the singularity event’ (a kind of immortality brought about by technology), and ending in 1542, with the death of gods and arrival of colonial conquistadors in the land of the Ohlone people, the site of the future Silicon Valley. Those eight films are screened every afternoon in Cinemona.

And now to the far-flung future, with the second part of the project, called The Everted Capital, a history of capital in reverse. It has at its heart a twenty-four-hour performance, which was filmed at Mona. It takes place in the year 7231 and introduces us to a community of immortals living on a ‘Dyson sphere’—a mega structure that harnesses the power of the sun as it approaches extinction. More catastrophe faces these immortal beings: the return of death and capital, throwbacks to our past human evolution. As the performance unfolds, a character dies every hour and the story reboots and repeats. Until, in the end, only a newborn baby remains, left to play in the empty museum for eternity. The story is inspired by ‘New Australia’, a failed communist utopia founded in Paraguay in the nineteenth century, and the Lydian Empire, which is said to have invented modern currency and coinage in around 700 BCE.

Alongside the film of this gruelling performance, you can see a series of sculptures—crafted from rope and salt, resin and clay, fungus and strips of vinyl, plastic and sandstone. The sculptures are based on mask objects from Mona’s collection, alongside a statue of the Egyptian god Horus from the Louvre, which has been moulded, turned inside out, and recast in bronze, and is being transformed here by the slow creep of salt crystals. These will be exhibited with sculptures based on works from the collection of Augustus Pitt Rivers, British archaeologist and founder of the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford, who believed that evolutionary logic could be applied to man-made artefacts. These sculptures were made using purpose-built AI technology that predicted the past life of blades. This strange landscape of objects seems to grow from the colossal plinth running the length of the gallery and slicing through a sandstone boulder.

This peculiar scene isn’t meant to be easy. It’s more poetry than prose—an archaeology of our future, told before it happens. In the words of the artists:

Everyone is thinking of a world without us, thinking of what the world could be when we’re gone. It’s easy to imagine, in a way. But we’re thinking of another narrative: what are we without the world? Just us humans without any ground to hold us.

Curated by Nicole Durling and Olivier Varenne

Header image: The Axiom, 2018, Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni
Video still from the prologue to The Unmanned, Season 2, 'The Everted Capital'
© Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni