Between Sex and Death
– Exploring the Clandestine World of Fungi
The scent of the prized Périgord truffle is somewhere ‘between sex and death’, according to one Australian forager. Throughout history, fungi have confounded with their strange appearances, peculiar habitats and dubious connotations. Across continents and languages, humans are sharply divided in their regard for fungi, with some cultures revering them and others subjecting them to the wrath of a reckless kick across the paddock.
Yet without fungi, life as we know it would be radically different. Fungi regulate the biosphere and support the earth’s ecological functioning. They provide us with food, wine and medicine. However, in the English-speaking world, the exceptionally few mushrooms with the capacity to dismantle human organs have received disproportionate attention. Centuries of mythologies and misunderstanding take time to unravel and redress.
This seminar delves deep into the fungal kingdom, showcasing the aesthetics of these perplexing yet enchanting organisms, and explores some of their natural and cultural curiosities. Alison will include some excerpts from her recent book The Allure of Fungi in which she interacted with fungi and their followers across a dozen countries.
Further seminar, forays and workshops can be found here.