Lithograph, 2012

 

On a flight in the summer of 2012, I happened to sit next to Scott Turner, a professor of Environmental Science and an expert in symbiotic, Fungus Farming Termites, which cultivate fungi as food inside their nests. I exhausted his website, in which he investigates the termite mounds, by casting the tunnels in plaster. The forms of the termite-mound casts and fungus-combs inspired me to make a print.

For some reason, the termites reminded me of those roll-up, legged animals graphic artist M.C. Escher invented. I created a hybrid between Escher’s “Wentelteefje” and a termite, and drew a termite-architecture that included stairs, also inspired by some prints by Escher.

The title of the print refers to a rather obscure book by a dada-author named Stefan Themerson. The book is called “Professor Mmaa’s Lecture”. It is an incredibly funny and intriguing satire, in which termite-researchers study the subject of “Homo”, philosophize on the nature of “life”, and cope with a Queen who has stopped laying her eggs. It was written in 1943 and published in the 70′s.

 I have referenced prints by M.C. Escher before, in: ant(r)evolutions