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introduction : concept : artistic contributions
Coexistencia, 5,26 min., 2003
Donna Conlon

The tropical forests are full of leaf-cutter ants that carry endless fragments of leaves that they use for their nests. Watching a parade of ants in Palenque, Mexico in 2003, Donna Conlon mused about giving them a message to transmit in their daily marches. So she made small peace signs and flags of the 191 members of the United Nations and left them for the ants to pick up. The ants did pick up both the cut leaves and the small banners, and the camera documented a whole hour of parade. Conlon then edited it down to a few minutes, but in the process, trying to select the flags of countries with a recent history of war or struggle with peace, realised that this situation included most nations. This video, an “ant demonstration” as the artist herself calls it, (…) is a serious reflection, from a playful perspective, on the value of collective conscience and power.

(excerpt from «Donna Conlon: musing and uncovering» (2005) by Virginia Pérez-Ratton)

Donna Conlon

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