Hives 2400 B.C.E. – 1852 C.E.



Selected from GETXOPHOTO 


Through the use of archival images, the Hives archive endeavours to retell the history of the beehive – which so far has proven to be inconsistently fragmented. For reasons unknown. The study of the hive has gained little attention and preservation has been neglected by archaeologists and scholars.

Since the birth of the modern beehive in 1852, structural innovation in hive construction has entered a dormant period. By favouring the standardised box hive, beekeeping turns its back on 4,400 years of architectural diversity. The archive created by Apian, formed by the Swiss artist Aladin Borioli in collaboration with other professionals, focuses on that period of history prior to homogenisation, drawing from as far back as 2400 BCE. By rejecting a fixed narrative, linearity makes way for polymorphism, introducing graphic design, photography and writing to retell the story of beehives. The 375 images offer a glimpse into this prolific history of architecture made by humans for non-humans.
The Hives archive is a fragment of an ongoing and open-ended research project titled Apian which uses theoretical, iconographic and ethnographic methods to research the relationship between bees and humans. 

Born in 1988 in Switzerland, Aladin Borioli lives in Bevaix. He holded a BA in Photography at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne and a MA in Visual and Media Anthropology from the Freie Universität Berlin. He is currently pursuing a certificate programme in Critical Philosophy at The New Centre for Research and Practice. His work borrows methods from anthropology and philosophy and combines them with the practice of art and beekeeping. Since 2014 she has been developing the DIY research project Apian, which explores the age-old interspecies relationship between bees and humans. The results are polymorphous ethnographies, which mix different media such as text, photography, sound, videos. Apian also aims to be collaborative and has been a site for meeting around shared sensibilities, for example with the neurobiologist Randolf Menzel and the artists Laurent Güdel and Ellen Lapper. This project has recently been exhibited at Eyebeam 2021, Images Vevey 2020, ICA London 2020 or CTM Festival Berlin 2019, among others. In 2020, the book Hives / Ruches (RVB/Images Vevey, 2020), a visual atlas of the beehive, was published.

Promoted by the Begihandi collective, GETXOPHOTO is a festival dedicated to image that takes place in Getxo (Basque Country) during September for the last 14 years. It brings different proposals from photographers and visual storytellers from all over the world to the city, setting a contemporary conversation about the theme proposed each year.

GETXOPHOTO inhabits the public space and continues supporting the use of formats, stands and unconventional exhibition spaces to show the different images. This is a thematic festival that every three years works together with a different curator who understands the photography as a tool of knowledge, communication, and of course artistic enjoyment. Exhibitions, installations, projections, collaborations, experimental laboratories and many activities complete the program of the Festival.

Jon Uriarte is the curator of GETXOPHOTO 2021.

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