Moonrise

installation, herbarium, burned botanic press, vial of poison, artwork from local fleamarket, green fluorescent light.

Terra Foundation for American Art, Giverny, France, 2017

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Monet's Garden, Giverny, France, 2017

This installation was created in several stages. In the beginning I collected a sampling of plants from the Giverny Monet’s Garden Museum. I focused on three taxonomic categories of plants: Herbs, as an example of plants which are edible, medicinal and pleasant to the senses; Flowers which have strong associations with ancient knowledge and aesthetic denitions of beauty; Bamboo as a representation of Orientalism in art and built environment.

I placed all the flowers and herbs I collected into a botanic press I constructed. I then attached all of the flowers, herbs and bamboo leaves to sheets of paper, creatingan Herbarium. I attached the 365 bamboo leaves to paper made of bamboo. In the last stage of this piece, I picked poisonous flowers from those I collected. Below I list those poisonous plants I discovered and their toxic effects on the human body. Using a steam distillation apparatus I prepared a poisonous concentration made entirely of these flowers. The liquid contained in this vial is poison and if consumed, can kill you.

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Steam distillation process
Poisonous Mask, collage made of petals, A3 size
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Steam distillation process and flowers in the fridge
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Flowers prepared for the botanical presss
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Mooonrise, view of installation 
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8 drops of poison
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Sketch: eye, teardrops, flower, poison
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Skull, Poisonous Mask, collage made of petals, 30x40cm

Rhododendron catawbiense

strong stomach ache, drooling

Digitalis Purpurea 

causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, appearance of blurred outlines (halos), drooling, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, death

Datura stramonium

skin rash, redness of the skin, urinary retention, accelerated heart rate, convulsions, death

Heracleum Sosnowskyi Manden

large blisters and symptoms of burns, internal bleeding, diarrhea

Clematis Salivation

vomiting, diarrhea

Wisteria

dizziness, confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, collapse, gastroenteritis

makes your mouth, throat, tongue and lips go numb if eaten, paralysis of the nervous system, death

Lilium longiflorum

makes your mouth, throat, tongue and lips go numb if eaten, paralysis of the nervous system, death

Hydrangea arborescens

stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, labored breathing, convulsions, coma

Rumex crispus

muscle tremors, weakness, depression and recumbency

Cicuta douglasii

nervousness, breathing dificulties, tremors, collapse, sudden death

severe eye inflammation and irritation, drowsiness, tremors or shaking of the muscles, seizures, collapse, coma that can lead to death

Nerium oleander dermatisis

severe eye inflammation and irritation, drowsiness, tremors or shaking of the muscles, seizures, collapse, coma that can lead to death

Examples of poisonous flowers 
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Burned botanic press, object; (artwork from local fleamarket made of deadly butterfly wings)
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Herbarium (flowers from the period 05.06–05.08.2017), Giverny, France

Moonrise

second part of the project Moonrise, Center of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, PL. 29.09.2018 – 06.01.2019

My Giverny project was continued at the invitation of the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. The Centre is housed in a palace surrounded by a park and it features exhibition spaces. The original project was extended to include an exhibition presented in a former chapel: a series of objects filled with poison made of poisonous plants from Orońsko and a performance.

I performed in a costume consisting of white overalls, a dog mask, and porcelain gloves modelled on worker’s gloves. I served bay leaf and rose petal elixirs to the performance audience, whom I summoned with sounds produced with an object: an ear-trumpet. Another added object was a fragile mask made of dried petals. The original Giverny installation served as a rudimentary framework for the Orońsko project, with new contexts and objects and with the performative situation added to it.

 

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Moonrise, exhibition view (glass object with poison)
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Work Gloves, object, three porcelain gloves, 2018
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Real Fire Is In You, photography, 100x70cm, 2020
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Ear-trumpet, object, 2018

​Special thanks to the employees of Giverny Monet’s Garden.

PRESS

Photos: Bartek Zalewski, Przemek Branas