Multi Media Installation, Soil, 200 x 100 x 120 cm wooden box, seeds, growing plants, sound (15:45 minutes, loop), film set lights, two B/W Polaroids, 2018
Research and plantation procedure in collaboration with Sohrab Yazdanmehr. Conceived on the occasion of "Once Upon A Time, Once Upon No Time" at Gelerie Wedding in Berlin.
Photographs by Trevor Lloyd & Azin Feizabadi
An inverted grave containing soil mixed with other soil gathered from and around the grave of the late German actress Brigitte Mira in Berlin's Luisenfriedhof III. The work is based on time, and throughout the five-week exhibition period, will transform and become a wild garden.
Sound is broadcast from the grave. A collage of Brigitte Mira's voices collected from various films in which she embodied a variety of characters and identities. For example: in the film "Everyone Dies Alone" (1976, Dir. Alfred Vohrer), Mira plays the character of Frau Häberle, the mother of an NSDAP opposition activist. There, she plays the role of a strong, experienced and protective woman; a motherly character. In the film "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser" (1974, Dir. Werner Herzog), she plays Käte, the house keeper of Herr Daumer. Käte is a humble, practical and simple woman, while in the film "Fabian" (1980, Dir. Worlf Gremm) Mira plays the role of the nosy and indifferent Frau Holfeld, who is the Landlord of Fabian. In the Theater-Film "Little Man, What Now?" (1973, Dir. Peter Zadek) Brigitte Mira becomes Mia Pinneberg, a glamorous, funny and extroverted woman from Berlin in the 20s. Other characters from other films include: Queen of England from “Willi And The Windzors” (1996, Dir. Hape Kerkeling), the rich and exotic hotel guest Madame Pillard from “So ein Millionär hat’s schwer” (1958, Dir. Géza von Cziffra), Frau Küsters from “Mother Küsters’ Trip To Heaven” (1975, Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder), Emi from “Fear Eats Soul” (1974, Rainer Werner Fassbinder), Mother-in-law from “Fear of Fear” (1975, Rainer Werner Fassbinder), Mechtilde from “Wie einst im Mai” (1961, Dir. Thomas Engel). The sound of Brigitte Mira’s voice as Brigitte Mira can also be heard singing a German version of Leonard Cohen's “Bird in a Wire”.
Along with the multiple and contradictory voices of Brigitte Mira, a group of seeds are embedded in the soil whose biologic roots are contradictory. These various seeds don't usually grow together in the same environment or in the same season. The seeds of the plants are chosen based on the characteristics of Brigitte Mira's roles in different films. For example the traditional, snobbish and naive Brigitte Mira as the Queen of England becomes Marigold Tagetes Patula. Brigitte Mira as Käte becomes Tomato and Kohlrabi. Frau Küsters becomes a bunch of Fern; the confide, lovesick and melancholic Emi becomes Nasturium and Brennesel at the same time (two different plants for one character, which are put together to form an analogy for the development of the character Emi throughout the film “Fear Eats Soul”).
Some plants are also chosen based on their appearance, such as Fuchsia Boliviana or Albuca Namaquensis, which match the characters Brigitte Mira as Madame Pillard and Mia Pinneberg. Other plants are ecologically defined. How they live, grow and react towards other plants and their environment, such as Gleichenia Japonica (Forked Fern) planted as Brigitte Mira as Mutter Küsters. For some other plants, their culture was of interest: where do they grow and what role do they play in the social live of humans? For example, Nettles: Emi as Brigitte Mira.