Rééducation (2009 – ongoing)
This work is a sort of utopian project that is repeated every year in spring, sometimes it takes place in the context of an exhibition, and sometimes at the artist’s studio. In it Adaime Makac intends to un-domesticate silkworms, a species domesticated more than five thousand years ago. The artist gives the worms the opportunity to feed on the mulberry leaves she scatters around them, otherwise to climb a tree or a structure she builds for them, and look for their own food, one of the habits they have completely lost after thousands of years of breeding. In a second phase, the artist “offers” different structures to the worms to install their cocoons and then turn into butterflies. Since the domestication of the silkworm is in the order of thousand years, the butterflies no longer know how to fly, because to produce silk they are never born. One of the utopian results of the work would be to “remind” butterflies how to fly again. The paradoxical aspect of the project is twofold: first, the artist needs to “assist” the silkworms in order to un-domesticate them; second, the time she has for this task, namely, the average time of a human’s life, is immensely short compared to the five thousand years of domestication. This work, and in general Adaime Makac’s oeuvre opens questions about breeding and about the physical and psychological changes to which human and non-human animals are subjected through the processes of domestication.