Seedling /performance

It’s tearing me apart, from the inside. I dreamed that a flower sprouting in my pocket was tearing my dress – like sunflower seeds growing on the graves of victims and invaders; like a seed that must die and unite with the earth to bear fruit. I created the performance Rozsada in April in the Miedziorytnik’s house as part of the exhibition Body Memory, Consciousness of the Forefather. The inspiration for my action was a sentence I read in an interview with Ukrainian essayist Oksana Zabuzhko right after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. This sentence: „an appeal to Russian soldiers to put a sunflower seed in their pockets, because that’s how much they can save themselves. At least some plant will grow on the ground that covers them.”

rozsada 04
rozsada 02
rozsada 03
rozsada 01
rozsada 05
rozsada 06

I start the action by going down to the basement, singing a traditional song in which there is a motif of flowers growing on the grave of an infanticide. I pour the Earth out of the bag, take off my shoes and immerse my bare feet in the fertile black soil, as if I were growing roots myself. I take off my red coat, and underneath I have a transparent white dress made of dissolvable fabric, slightly transparent, like agrotextile. From my purse I take out a ball of red thread, scissors, needles and flower seeds. I sew pockets to the dress, sometimes other people sew the pockets, and in some of them I put a handful of soil and a seed. After about 3 hours, I’m completely covered in pockets. I put a handful of soil and a seed into each of them. Then I cut them off and give them to people in the audience, when everyone has their pockets to fill, I am left in a dress with holes in it, through which fragments of my naked body can be seen. I take off my dress, put on my coat and shoes, and hang the dress on the wall.

I’m leaving.