ART & RESEARCH
Four Sisters for Planthroposcene

Four Sisters for Planthroposcene

This artwork and social sculpture celebrates reciprocal human-plant-soil relations through an installation and a growing site at Malmö Art Museum, Sweden. In an indoor film and sound installation, focusing on maize and the Three Sisters companion planting, seeds are bathing in sound and waiting to be planted. During the Spring, a garden will take shape in the court yard of the museum where also other types of companion planting techniques will be highlighted. The garden will host various events and workshops, starting with a Soil Celebration in April in collaboration with Humus economicus, a Planting Celebration in late May focusing on what we can learn from plants, and a Harvest Festivity in September focusing on food.

By: (P)Art of the Biomass / Janna Holmstedt & Malin Lobell
In: Sustainable Societies for the Future
Seeds are exposed to sound around 200 Hz in a sound and video installation in the museum (film photography: Lars Siltberg). The seeds will later be planted as a Three Sisters companion planting in the court yard outside the museum. The growing site was inaugurated with the Soil Celebration, 9–11 April. The house seen in the installation above will be moved outside in May as the garden develops and expands. Photo: Janna Holmstedt.

The title of the work references both Robin Wall Kimmerer, who in her book Braiding Sweetgrass [1] writes beautifully about reciprocity, gift economy, and humans as a fourth sister, and Natasha Myers who has suggested the term “Planthroposcene” [2] as a stage or scene where other forms of human-plant relationships can be seeded. Four Sisters for Planthroposcene offers itself as a stage for such multisensous and reciprocal attempts.

Apart from the installation and growing site, the artwork consists of a series of public events, a poster that maps out the process, and a wall newspaper called “Bladet” (the Leaf]. Issue No. 1 is called The Gift (Gåvan). Issue no. 2 will report from the Soil Celebration (Jordfesten), and issue No. 3 will consider The School of the Plants (Plantans skola). No. 4 and 5 will focus on The Harvest Festivity (Skördefest), and Fallow Rest Respiration (Andhämtning).

A poster that maps out the process oriented work For Sisters for Planthroposcene and its different parts.

More photos, film, and texts from the exhibition can be seen here.

[1] See Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass:Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, Penguin Books Ltd, 2020.
[2] See for exemple Andrés  Lomeña, ”Seeding Planthroposcenes: An interview with Natasha Myers”. TEA: The Ethnobotanical Assembly, 6 [online], 2020. URL: www.tea-assembly.com/issues/2020/9/22/seeding-planthroposcenes

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