Women, apples and bees

Performance with text, mask, cognitive map and clay artefact.

In a pre-Himalayan village, planted with apple trees, traditional wooden house has wild bees’ houses in each of the walls of the attic. Cavities are made by human to welcome them, but they build their wax layers by themselves.
Bees are sensitive to odors, tastes and colors, including ultraviolet rays. They have the ability to discriminate color, to communicate the location and nature of food to others. And they can even form cognitive maps of their environment.
Women are responsible for harvesting honey. First they plunge the room into darkness. The oldest woman breaks the clay joints and collects half of the honey. A younger one helps with smoke and a lamp. At the end, they close the holes with clay.

The performative and discursive work involves women, apples and bees. It deals with the contingent relations between human and non human, all together constituting a network of agencies -where all agencies, organic and non-organic, have a certain capacity to transform the world at different scales. It also talks about attention and care.

It includes artefacts: a mask to become an interface between human and non-human, a messenger; and a clay artefact to reflect the sky, the sun light but as well the wind into water and to join together fourth primary elements from the territory.

I invited to perform with me the artist Poonam Jain. She coded keywords from my text as she uses to do in her own practice with data from environment. We were both wearing a mask. The mask was made out of a recycled colourful plastic bag fabric like, a net to weave each day fresh flowers and grasses. The clay artefact was made into a mould made out of apples. It was burned into the ground next to the house, next to the apple trees (with advices of Virangna potter from the Shilaroo Project).

Residency in Kalga, Himachal Pradesh, India
Curator Shazeb Shaikh
Grant Pro-Helvétia India 2018
Grant Basel Stadt 2018