The sculpture is an artificially enlarged housing of a purple Murex seashell coated in bright violet. The violet dye this snail produces is also known as Imperial-Dye, due to its historically royal attribution because of the effort involved in producing it, which required thousands of snails for the process of extraction. From another viewpoint, purple is also regarded as the color of bad luck in the modern-day oil industry. It signifies the color of the maximum danger alert, which flashes when it is already too late: The oil rig it about to explode. The artist sees the color as a warning signal to react in the face of present political unrest and impending ecological disasters. The play on words, dye and die, can be read both as a dystopian moment of the passing of human supremacy over the earth’s resources and a call to end existing hegemonies and power relations.
Commissioned by the Soap Factory, Minneapolis, USA (2018)
Photographs by Future Generation Art Prize, Marius Land, Raisa Hagiu