A Flower in My Mouth
Opening and performances:
Fri, 12 April 2019, 7–11pm
A maze is a bar is a flower is a word is a silence is a gesture is a distraction is a name is a mirror is a scream is an erotic pain is a flattering sadness is an erasure is blood is gambling is revenge is a wedding is a funeral.
The Salzburger Kunstverein is pleased to present A Flower in My Mouth, a project by Mehraneh Atashi, Sara Giannini and Jacopo Miliani. Entangling both curatorial and artistic practice together, the exhibition A Flower in My Mouth presents speculations on the semiotics of flowers in relation to sexuality, esoterism and political power.
Themselves being sex organs of the natural world, flowers have been used since ancient times to speak about the unspeakable; to seduce, adorn, and distract. Seemingly only ornamental, flowers can convey covert meanings, masking that which cannot be openly shown or spoken about. Their ephemeral beauty articulates a mute language of deception, desire and allusion. Over time, roses, carnations, peonies, or lilies have been implemented as political and religious emblems. They have also been appropriated for the circulation of illicit desires, identities, and ideas. In this sense, if a flower can silence unwanted voices, it is within this silence that new tongues may blossom.
A Flower in My Mouth inhabits the slips of these different tongues, interlinking two recent books by Mehraneh Atashi and Sara Giannini & Jacopo Miliani. Both books address the topic of flowers in relation to censorship and its subsequent subversion. In Only the morning bird treasures the flower garden, Atashi tactfully re-positions the multifaceted iconography of the flower in an Iranian context, while in Whispering Catastrophe: On the Language of Men Loving Men in Japan, Giannini and Miliani explore a visual erotic language where flowers, and in particular the rose, are signifiers of forbidden sexualities.
As an expansion of these researches, A Flower in My Mouth invites audiences to a speculative environment activated through imagination. Upon entering a maze of flower arrangements, one is lead to a space called “the bar.” Whereas the maze echoes the silence of the language of flowers, “the bar” offers a polyphony of sounds, objects, videos and performances. Here new artworks by Atashi, Miliani and Giannini converse with subversive flower collages by Linder and a video depicting the act of eating roses by Azin Feizabadi. On the opening evening, and for one night only, the bar will come alive with performances. Astrit Ismaili presents a new song and choreography on the “libidinous economy of the Coca-Cola Flower.” Ashkan Sepahvand ponders the relationship between flowers, memory, and psychic transformation. LANOCHE/Ángela de la Serna will perform a new musical composition specially conceived for the occasion. Throughout the evening, a silent master of ceremony dressed by fashion brand Marios will serve the audience petalled refreshments.
The sound recording of the opening night will stay in “the bar” for the remainder of the exhibition, as well as different other traces. They will linger on in the space, while as time passes, the flowers in the maze will transform, finally loosening their tongues.
A project by Mehraneh Atashi, Sara Giannini, Jacopo Miliani.
With: Mehraneh Atashi (IR/NL), Azin Feizabadi (IR/DE), Sara Giannini (IT/NL), Astrit Ismaili (RKS/NL), LANOCHE-Ángela de la Serna (ES), Linder (UK), Jacopo Miliani (IT), Ashkan Sepahvand (IR/DE). Featuring a special collaboration with Milan based fashion brand Marios.