Books have a way of taking us elsewhere, but to Chicago artist Melissa Jay Craig, the same can be said of fungi. Yep, fungi.
“When I was a child, the first time I had the intriguing feeling that the planet carried messages (texts, if you will) for those who were curious enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amanita Muscaria, huddled together in a dark, secret space under tall pines.”
This discovery would eventually resurrect in her work as an adult. In her installation (S)Edition, Craig brings us 99 books made to look like Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. The installation has traveled plenty over the years, but has only been shown in full at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio in 2010.
“Fungus is an agent of change. I’m fascinated with its myriad forms, and I love to go in search of it. I can become more excited by discovering a beautiful fungal growth than by perusing artwork ‘discovered’ for us by curators in contemporary museums. “