Mathis Collins, Quercus Suber Utopia
Quercus Suber Utopia by Mathis Collins (Paris, 1986) is a project for a collective artwork between the regions of Southern Europe and North Africa where Cork trees grow. Based on a discussion on community buildings, the project was supposed to be exhibited in each of the participating communities in a continuous process of exchange and activity. Made out of cork, the sculptures or scale models of the communities utopian collective spaces, was to set a pan-regional discussion and understanding of the contemporary ecological and economical crisis of cork trees. This project was supposed to be presented for a group show that I curated in 2014 in Marseille.
In order to set it up, Collins left for several months and when possible we spoke over Skype. It was a rather draining experience for him, both artistically and emotionally. Once he got back, he changed the project for the show, and though I was happy about the new one, I kept thinking of the original one for a long time: travelling with a truck transformed into a studio to produce sculptures in those countries that produce cork and to link them all into a common artwork. This project would have offered people the possibility to engage in a professional experience with a pedagogical background.