Text by Sara O'Keeffe
Eduardo Navarro's commissioned work for the Triennial, Timeless Alex (2015), pivots on the question of how a human body could phenomenologically experience the position of a turtle. Eduardo Navarro became intrigued by how turtles may perceive time—exemplified by the case of Lonesome George, the last living Pinta Island tortoise discovered in the Galapagos in 1971—and asked how self-awareness of their own longevity might affect their cognition. Timeless Alex departs from the writings of Temple Grandin, a writer and autism activist who posited that animals think in pictures and understand life through constant sensorial stimulation – shadows, sounds, and colours – without the language-based abstraction of these senses, and that they, hence, exist without a concept of time. In the exhibition, a sculptural model of a Galapagos tortoise is featured alongside a leather skin and face mask. During this two-hour event, the artist himself will become the turtle in an attempt to move slower than language and reach a timeless state of mind.