Sample of cultured, microbial cellulose – SCOBY.
Site specific installation: Hotel Belgrade. Belgrade Art Weekend
Curated by: An Paenhuysen
During the latter half of the 20th century, the consumption of the beverage Kombucha gained popularity, primarily as a homemade drink found in numerous households, often accompanied by its essential component, the starter culture known as SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). This unique beverage and its cellulose matrix are produced through the process of fermentation, utilizing black tea with elevated levels of acidity. Notably, both the drink and the cellulose possess health benefits, which Adrienn aims to incorporate as a site-specific installation within Room 13 at Hotel Belgrade.
Drawing inspiration from the extensive efforts invested in constructing architectural marvels during the first half of the 20th century, Adrienn seeks to present a delicate cultured material delicately stretching across the walls of this historically significant yet regrettably abandoned building. By embracing the existing characteristics of the space, including its time-worn features and occasional signs of neglect such as ants and cobwebs, she introduces a biological substance in an exposed state. Throughout the installation process, this material will undergo visual, physical, and biological transformations, mirroring the building’s own evolution over time. The metaphorical essence of the artwork encompasses the intertwining of biological and cultural heritage, symbolizing the rich legacy embedded within the space as a whole.