“… the mastery of non-mastery: a mastering or endless perfecting of the art of conveying that there are some things that cannot – and should not – be mastered or captured.”
Shela Sheikh, From Planting Seeds/The Fires of War: The Geopolitics of Seed Saving in Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives
Continuing her exploration of archives, and in particular their complex relationship with both preservation and erasure, Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives at The Douglas Hyde brings together the artist’s 2018 feature-length documentary film of the same name, and newly commissioned sculptural work, produced this year through a production residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art with the generous support of the Ceramics and Glass programme at the National College of Art and Design.
From the frozen wastes of Svalbard, an island in the Arctic Ocean, to the semi-arid landscape of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, the film Wild Relatives (2018) traverses disparate geographies, political contexts and personal lives to create a series of loose links around its main protagonist: seeds. As the film unfolds through an open structure of vignettes, these tiny living archives become the focus of an exploration into how global power structures play out in the agricultural, as much as in the political, field.