Amadou Amadou

The tinder fungus, or Fomes fomentarius, is a captivating and enigmatic organism. Its large, hoof-shaped fruit bodies, which vary in color from a silvery-grey to nearly black, are a testament to its ability to adapt and thrive in diverse environments. The mushrooms grow on the trunks of trees, infecting them through broken bark and causing rot, making them both a destructive and essential force in nature. But it is not only the tinder fungus´s destructive powers that have garnered attention. It has also played a crucial role in the development of human society, serving as the main ingredient in amadou, a material used to start fires. The 5,000-year-old Ötzi the Iceman was found carrying four pieces of the fungus, likely for use as tinder. The ability to create fire independent of lightning was a pivotal moment in the evolution of complex societies. In the artwork Amadou the tinder fungus takes center stage, paired by appearance and arranged on a wooden plate coated in a white, lead-based substance. These seemingly identical twins are a visual feast, drawing the viewer in with their striking beauty and mystery. But they are more than just a pretty face - they are also a witness to humanity´s impact on the planet. Like a sponge, the tinder fungus absorbs and archives substances from its environment, including radioactive material. It serves as a techno-fossil, cataloguing the nuclear material in its surroundings and speaking to humanity´s pursuit of fire and nuclear energy, as well as the toxic consequences of our actions. Half of the tinder mushrooms featured in the artwork were collected in contaminated areas around the globe, while the other half were gathered from a nature reserves, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all living things and the lasting impact of human behavior.

#tinderfungus#Fomesfomentarius#mushroomart#fungus#natureart#environmentalart#technofossil #nuclearmaterial#fire#complexsocieties#ötzi#iceman#amadou

© Markus Hoffmann