An explanation of the title of the Prepper's Pantry exhibition at Drop City (via Sammartini 60).
Prepper is the definition of a worldwide movement of people who declare themselves 'ready' to survive in the event of a catastrophe. In Italian we strangely call them 'survivalists', borrowing once again from an English term. The Pantry, on the other hand, is the pantry, the closet.
So Prepper's Pantry, from an idea by Anniina Koivu, is an investigation into objects that save lives. The magnificent thing is that the curator manages to stay on the border between a detached irony and a very serious curatorial research.
The two points of view of survival
Anniina Koivu explains: “There are two points of view on the subject of Prepper. The first concerns the institutions: there are detailed programs of the Red Cross, for example, on how to react to any type of pandemic, biological or war crisis. They are accurate, useful and public.
Then there is a more underground point of view, which covers a large range of ideological sub-communities.
Both worlds are to be explored: the theme is current and hides an infinite number of products. The small exhibition at Dropcity is just the beginning of a research that will occupy us for the next eighteen months and will result in a full analysis during an exhibition at the Mudac of Lausanne in the autumn of 2024”.
Common objects, design objects, technical tools
Prepper's Pantry is laid out by Camille Blin, Anthony Guex and Christian Spiess is an essential reworking of a container, the simplest form of shelter (provided it is buried a few meters underground).
Outside, in a series of showcases, the historical artifacts of the Survivalist movement, starting with a copy of The Whole Earth Catalogue, the practical bible of survivalist tools published up to 1972.
Inside, on the other hand, the instruments are divided by function.
Among others: the tablets for sanitizing the water, the bar of gold micro ingots, a minimal geiger counter, Nendo's survival kit, Bruno Munari's Dictionary of Gestures, Finnish thermal socks, the crank siren of the the seventies, the Japanese folding helmets, the guerrilla vests and camouflage headgear, the collapsible water tanks.
A large collection of design and non-design objects, selected for their design and functional intelligence.
Why do preppers exist?
The theme recalls somewhat original images: people who build fallout bunkers in which they cram essential material in the event of a nuclear or biological attack, epidemic, famine, technological or ecological crash, war.
If you are asking yourself: “But why should something like this happen and why be ready?”, you have not understood the amount of crisis we are experiencing.
Nor how it is interesting to think like a survivalist, because considering the speed with which we run towards infinity and beyond the point of no return, in fact the main problem seems to have lost one of the main instincts of evolution: that of survival.
Do you have a Bug out bag ?
Andri Magnason, author of Time and Water, one of the strongest voices of global environmentalism, says it very clearly: we have forgotten our instincts of survival.
We have forgotten what it means to really feel the environment and decide if it is good or bad for us. Survivalists don't.
They feel that something is wrong and, above all, they don't trust the light-heartedness of others in the slightest. And they prepare a Bug out bag, the bag to leave the house in ten seconds and reach a safe place. To survive.