In 1971 the brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky wrote the short science fiction novel Road Side Picnic, about the aftermath of an extraterrestrial visitation to our planet. On their departure the extraterrestrial creatures left behind various mysterious artefacts. One of the protagonists explains this as though it’s just an ordinary picnic, where waste and residue are carelessly discarded.
Söderling pokes fun at this story and imagines a picnic in the cosmos. Chairs, forks, gherkins and crown corks float through our galaxy. Banal everyday items lose their meaning and acquire a mythical status: a chunk of brie is like a spaceship that explores new horizons or a badminton shuttle becomes an all-seeing satellite.
In The Second Dawn of Man prehistoric apes explore those same objects, left behind on an imaginary primitive planet. Through simple digital animation and with a generous shot of humour, Söderling manipulates existing material into a ridiculous symphony of waste.