“As I’ve mentioned not once in my previous interviews, besides my main activity and business (a gallerist at Galerie Uberall), I’m a dedicated mushroom picker and, like the majority of gallerists, have a great passion for collecting. Currently I own quite a large collection of mushrooms consisting of specimens picked in Lithuanian forests in 2016.
While building this mushroom collection, I couldn’t but notice a new mushroom species that I keep coming across… (I’m not sure how it should be called…) But it’s a highly resilient or, perhaps we should say, invasive mushroom species, which multiplies at the speed of geometric progression and is found in forests, near expanding settlements. I’ve never picked this species, but in this year, 2018, I decided to give it a try.
As I don’t know how this species is called, I’m going to call it ‘Unnamed’ or ‘Unknown’.
Mushrooms of these unknown species are presently found in almost all forests all around the world. It’s difficult not to notice them… It’s even more difficult in the woods of Mickūnai environs, where I go quite often… or what’s left of them…
Perhaps these woods have such a large population of these mushrooms because there’s enough humidity and darkness…? Or perhaps these mushrooms grow in exactly the opposite climatic conditions…? I have no clue…
It is thought that these mushrooms reproduce via spores. It is also thought that spores are carried by animals in their stomachs. They also say: “mushrooms ‘travel’ underground, together with tree roots and species…”
Sometimes it seems to me that like all the others, ‘Unknown Mushrooms’ are reproduced not only by rodents or hoofed animals, but also by ‘Animals Wearing Boots’…
Some people say: “It’s better to pull out mushrooms”,
and others say: “It’s better to cut them”.
Myself, as an experienced collector, I follow the classical tradition/rule of picking mushrooms – I cut them slightly above the root.
It’s important to distinguish known mushrooms from unknown.”
– Andrej Polukord
Andrej Polukord (b. 1990) is an artist based in Vienna and Vilnius. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and co-recipient of the 2016 Kunsthalle Prize Vienna. His painting, installation, performance, and video art create unpredictable environments and absurd situations that produce double meaning and ambiguity.
Andrej Polukord’s work was presented in GAK, Bremen, –20 degrees biennale, Flachau, Austria, Zachęta Project Room, Warsaw, Survival KIT, Riga and elsewhere. Polukord is also a co-founder of Galerie Uberall, a mobile art gallery that is one of the first private mobile galleries, founded in 2014. Since then it has traveled and exhibited internationally including Vienna Contemporary 2015, documenta (14), Athens, Hoftallungen | mumok, Vienna, Austria and more.