Olga Olivera-Tabeni. Germinated militancy. Wooden structure of 90x90x80 cm, plants, MP3 players, headphones, audios, QR codes for mobile phones, lights for indoor plant cultivation, irrigation devices, drip support. Voice of the audios: Mireia Freixas Torras. Confinement 2020.
Confinement, and through confined speaking plants, we can generate an act of militancy, which serves as the foundation and germinates within the same confined space, like small cracks of resistance.
So much time locked within walls opens us to thought, in the face of the inevitable uncertainty of being, the fragility of bodies, or the evidence of our weakness. The possible response of many people has been to place plants on balconies, windows, private gardens - or even indoor plants - and care for them.
But at the same time, it refers us to the confinement of Rosa Luxemburg, the activist who passed through the prisons of Berlin, Wronke, and Breslau, St Lazare in Paris, Leipzig... For being a militant, defiant, nonconformist, in the face of a system that always banishes the different. States have always had mechanisms for the elimination of the unwanted or the uncomfortable, and often have used confinement and separatism as mechanisms of social, racial, and sexual exclusion. From witch hunts, lazarettos, 19th-century asylums, prisons throughout historical processes, hygienic movements, to the vagrants and criminals law of 1933, later updated by the Franco regime.
Germinated Militancy speaks about all of this, about the confinement created by the state of alarm, and about the uses or abuses that may arise from these actions. In a state of alarm, it shouldn't be surprising that resistance emerges. The term "resistance" would be spread during World War II to designate a type of citizens who, spontaneously, disorganized, and outside the official army, fought to halt the fascist advance.
And how Rosa Luxemburg's stay in these penitentiary institutions would serve as inspiration to practice botany. From political militancy to botanical militancy. From one form of resistance to another. Plants are not sentimental forms, but can be potent tools of militancy. Her seventeen herbarium notebooks made between 1913 and 1918 in the prisons of Berlin, Wronke, and Breslau, or the letters sent to Sophie Liebknecht where references to plants are a constant, are known worldwide. Working with these and from her confinement would be an act of liberation.
The last plant in her herbarium, number XVII, dated October 15, 1918, was a verbascum lychnitis. Rosa Luxemburg is murdered exactly three months later. The reality of Luxemburg allows us to see in short the fine line that separates botany from politics and militant struggle.
LIVING PLANTS PRESENT IN THE PIECE:
Chandelier ( Verbascum thapsus ), red clover ( Trifolium hirtum ), false nettle ( Lamium maculatum ), dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale ), orchid ( Phalaenopsis mix. Asian Coral ), pansies ( Viola × wittrockiana ), leprosy grass ( Veronica officinalis ), thuja ( Thuja occidentalis ), geranium ( Pelargonium Graziosa Piccola ), petunia Surfina ( Petunia × atkinsiana Surfinia Group ), plantago coronopus , mallow ( malva silvestris ), violet -confined from my mother's yard- ( Viola odorata ), tea board, fake tea, new Spain tea, leprosy herb - considered an exotic species with invasive potential - (Chenopodium ambrosioides).
Àudio plantago coronopus
Rosa Luxemburg Herbarium. Thuja occidentalis, Lamium maculatum, Trifolium.