Mammal Matrix (MaMa)

A text for a stills animation by the artist duo J&K/Janne Schäfer and Kristine Agergaard for their piece Mammal Matrix (MaMa), High format HD video (sequence of still photography and spoken text), 2017.

Mammal Matrix (MaMa) consists of a looped animation of still photography images showing a colourful and vividly textured composition of bedding materials, fabrics and objects in constant transformation seen from bird-eyes perspective. The painterly scenarios reference death and birth beds, and bear witness to possible rituals and stages of passage that are lived and performed in them.

The image sequence is accompanied by a spoken text taking the audience on a journey through multiple states of births and deaths, from the edge of the universe into a womb on planet earth. The protagonists of this journey are a basilosaurus, a chicken, a sesame seed and a meteorite; phenomena that are all loosely referencing ancient cultural and geological history of the region that makes up today’s Pakistan.

The work was especially created for the 1rst Karachi Biennale and shown as a projection together with a full-floor installation referencing the aesthetics of the video and blending it with local materials to create a soft patchwork for contemplation.


A shower of blood rain is pouring as you listen to the sound of flesh-eating demons that are getting closer and closer. Suddenly the earth and sky seem to separate and you are having spasms in your neck that hammer your egg tooth against the inside of a shell.

It is cracking.

You crawl on your stomach into the dry, dark nest.

You are a chicken, growing up in woodland, nesting in a bush, warming your eggs as the rain falls, leaving the imprint of a miniature dinosaur when you walk in the mud, now you are being chased by a eunuch, having your leg tied to a string and being blessed with oil, powder and seeds, you are witnessing the cremation of a dead body and receiving its evil spirits in the form of mumbling black smoke, you are being thanked and released, you are returning to the wood, you lie on your right side and liquid falls from your beak, you sees smoke over water.