Death Passed My Way and Stuck This Flower in My Mouth
September 11–November 28, 2021
Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

An exhibition made of new work developed during the pandemic, including a spatial video installation and other pieces in which the flower – real and metaphorical – serves as a starting point for exploring the human condition in this moment of global crisis.

The core of the multi-channel film in the first part of the exhibition is set in Europe’s largest refrigerated building where 46 million flowers, flown in from farms in Africa and South-America, are sold at auction every morning. Work in the hangar is filmed in a hypnotic form of visual anthropology that is at once seductive, because flowers can be beautiful, and terrifying, because the scale of this globalized trade is ecologically troublesome. The documentary sequences are framed by the presence of a fictional observer who roams the streets at night, inspired by a character in a short play by Luigi Pirandello, L'Uomo dal Fiore in Bocca (1923) [The Man with a Flower in His Mouth]. The flower, which also gives the show its title, refers to an epithelioma: a tumour that was an incurable disease at the time Pirandello wrote the play. The protagonist, feeling death upon him, projects himself through conversations with strangers into the minute details of a world he observes intensely as a way of escaping his pending fate. Pirandello’s play serves as a backdrop and point of departure to create a narrative in which our relationship to the world and its finitude is explored.

Fleeting moments and cyclical processes form a grid in the exhibition. The ephemeral lifespan of the flowers contrasts with the seemingly endless mechanical cycle of the market. Statistical data collected during the pandemic, translated into sculptural wax reliefs, extends this formal exploration, creating a loose poetry of flowers, pending catastrophes, disease and economic processes while raising the question of their representation. By projecting images that shape our perception of reality onto various planes, the works allows us to make our own network of connections, not as the illusion of a whole, but as fragmented, painful and lyrical layers •

This Flower in My Mouth 2021
Installation with five video and six sound channels
25 minutes 25 sec

Camilla, September 10th 2021
Flower arrangement, medical glassware
Various size

Death Passed My Way and Stuck This Flower in my Mouth 2021
92 × 72 cm

Baltic Sea (surface temperature anomaly), 1859–2018 2021
75 × 173.5 cm

Roses (price), Death (COVID-19), Carbon (emissions), Loneliness (Google searches), January 2020–June 2021 2021
Quadriptych, each piece 92 × 72 cm

Heartbeat (Skipped), May 19, 2021 2021
75 × 89 cm

Bitcoin (value), Unemployment (claims), Gold (futures), Chrysanthemum (prices), January 1–December 31, 2020 2021
102 × 72 × 20 cm

The Man with the Flower in His Mouth 2021
Silkscreened textile
11 pieces, 1170 × 60 cm each

L’Homme à la fleur 2021
90 × 71 cm