⇧ 10 JANUARY – 1 FEBRUARY
⇩ALICE DOS REIS
Mood Keep (2018) is a fictional documentary tracing the collective decision of axolotls in captivity to develop eyelids as a part of their biology. Axolotls are water salamanders with regenerative abilities who refuse to metamorphose into maturity.
This film is set in a near future—or recent past—and charts the intersection between the axolotl’s engender status, postcolonial histories, unearthly biology, and its online popularity as one of the world’s cutest creatures.
In Mood Keep, axolotls communicate via wi-fi waves and watch anime telepathically. Born almost blind and only capable of discerning shadows of light, the permanent tungsten brightness in their tanks is unpleasant and disturbing to their thoughts as well as communication abilities.
Collectively, from the confinement of their enclosures, these axolotls decide to develop eyelids, choosing to shut their eyes indefinitely as a way to reclaim agency of their bodies and encourage empathic communication.
This exhibition is supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation grant for International Circulation in Cinema.
Acknowledgements: Gulbenkian Foundation, EGEAC and Sandberg Instituut.