In the early months of 2013 scientists discovered that on moonless nights the dung beetle uses the murky glow of the Milky Way to orient himself in rolling his dung ball in a straight line. By observing the ways of the African dung beetle Scarabaeus satyrus, the team of scientists was able to ascertain that dung beetles roll their dung balls in straight lines by taking cues from the polarized light patterns formed by the sun and the moon. This discovery was made by fitting numerous beetles’ heads with either clear or black hats and recording their movements in both day and nighttime conditions. They observed that the black hats, having hindered the beetles’ vision, disoriented their sense of direction and sent them on aimless paths, whereas the beetles equipped with clear hats continued efficiently on their course.
According to ancient Egyptian myth, the sun (Ra) rolls across the sky each day and transforms bodies and souls. The Egyptian god Khepri, often represented as a scarab or a scarab-headed man and seen as one of the manifestations of Ra, was connected with the dung beetle (kheprer) because of its habit of rolling balls of dung across the ground. A young dung beetle, having been laid as an egg within the dung ball – at this stage also known as a brooding chamber – emerges from it fully formed. The dung beetle therefore also came to represent creation and rebirth and was connected with the new day and the mythical creation of the world.
Arvo Leo & Alison Yip will be making personal Brooding Chambers, life-sized masks modeled after their sitters, at the Storefront throughout the week. You are invited to have your own Brooding Chamber fitted and cast in your likeness. Drop-ins welcome, appointments possible.
All Brooding Chambers must remain at the Storefront until June 9, when after 5 pm at the project’s finissage their proper owners may pick them up and carry them to a safe and dry environment.
Curated by Eva Wilson
June 1 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 2 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 3 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 4 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 5 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 6 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 7 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 8 – 12-7 pm (Brooding Chambers)
June 9 – Finissage, from 5 pm (pick up your Brooding Chambers)