Polish herbarium | 2018

Three photographs (110 x 165 cm) and video (Full HD 10 m 13 s)

In collaboration with Konrad Kultys.

Flowers are an inseparable element of culture. Their aesthetic value and symbolic meaning are deeply rooted in it. They are an important element of social rituals, and their use is a common practice. Their main features are beauty, ephemerality, and naturalness. However, there are situations when this singularity is used for opposite purposes, related to a completely different order. Such a situation took place in the period of the Polish People’s Republic when the security apparatus used names culled from the world of plants to name secret operations against society. The moment when the fragility and naturalness characteristic for flowers is being appropriated by the oppressive state system directed against the citizen seems to be very worrying. Using floral symbolism by the regime destroys its traditional cultural connotations and manipulates it by giving new meaning which is clear only for the system itself. Flowers play here a seeming role, they are an ornament that conceals, removes and infantilizes the brutal actions of the political system of oppression.