Toward the end of the Anthropocene, a perfect virus forced humans to physically isolate themselves from one another. While fires scorched the earth and hurricanes and rising temperatures flattened and flooded it, the dominant species instead focused inward, searching for confirmation that all of this was happening for a reason, and that they could not only save their livelihoods, but achieve spiritual salvation in doing so. What will redeem us when science preaches an irreversible entropy of our own making, they cried into the polluted, disease-ridden atmosphere.
The earth answered: more pestilence, more destruction.
Endangered Species is an exploration of the way things were just before The End became recognizably imminent. Michiel Ceulers and Jorge Peris are ghost sharks, Invisible Men foraging through the darkness after the electricity runs out. Ceulers’ sculptural, Rube Goldberg-ian mousetraps would be comically cruel if they were functional in the least; they become relics of extinct belief structures in their immediate obsolescence. His wall-bound works are bricolages of found objects, acrylic paint, and partially remembered idioms. A canary in the coalmine may well be a living buffer from unseeable invaders, but it is also a charming companion. Peris creates the coalmine itself, repurposing modernist pots and furniture into shelters and altars, reminding us that the modern is already ancient history when salt stalactites are leaking through the ceiling and the floor is littered with the fossilized bronze bones of one’s former companions.
Michiel Ceulers (b. 1986, Waregem, Belgium) lives and works in Ghent, Belgium and Berlin, Germany. Ceulers graduated from the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam in 2011. Recent exhibitions include Michiel Ceulers and Jorge Peris: Endangered Species, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2020); A Fair Proposal, Barbara Seiler, Zurich, Switzerland (2019); Wenn es zittert wie ein Ente, DASH, Kortrijk, Belgium (2017, solo); LAURA (Ein bisschen Schnitzel in Magen war mir lieber als ein Vogel in den Himmel), Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2015, solo); ’The man who mistake his wife for a hat,’ Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam (2014, solo); 'Der Charme einer vorbeigehenden Frau steht in der Regel in direktem Verhältnis zu dem Tempo ihres Ganges,' Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid (2014, solo); Rien de plus qu'un théâtre d'idées fluctuantes et des échos de développements future, Arts Club, London (2014, solo); Wenn Kneipen-Debatten als Kritik zählen, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2013, solo); In-Discipline, Bonnefanten museum Roermond, Roermond, Holland (2013); een être ET ne pas en être, GeM - Museum voor Actuele Kunst, The Hague (2013); Rasterfahndung, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart (2012).
Jorge Peris (born Alzira, Valencia, 1969) lives and works in El Palmar, Valencia, Spain and Bucharest, Romania. Recent exhibitions include Dark Man a lomos del Pájaro de Fuego, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia (2020, solo); Michiel Ceulers and Jorge Peris: Endangered Species, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2020); On the Ground, Luis Adelantado, Valencia, Spain (2020); Pineal Eye Infection, curated by Aaron Moulton, Seasons, Los Angeles (2020); Adam’s Resurrection, Sandwich Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (2019, solo); Al norte de la tormenta, MAXXI Museum, Rome, Italy (2019); Art Contemporani de la Generalitat Valenciana, Peça 19, Museum of Fine Arts of Castelló, Castelló, Spain (2019); Our Lady of the Flowers, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2018); The Hierophant, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2017); and Olmo 2017, Luis Adelantado, Valencia, Spain (2017, solo).