Asparagus: a horticultural ballet
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Official URL: http://www.theshowroom.org/programme.html?id=141,3...
Asparagus: A Horticultural Ballet was a live performance and film narrating the rise of capital in the medium of asparagus. The project stemmed from an obscure reference to an art piece of the same name by Waw Pierogi of the band xex. However, the its re-enactment had little to do with the original exploration of the growth and branching patterns of the asparagus plant. Instead, a rigid choreography inspired by Oskar Schlemmer's Triadic Ballet and based on Karl Marx's Capital dictated the movements of six performers in asparagus costumes. Bringing together the organic and the geometric, the ballet investigated the transition from the Fordist assembly line to immaterial labour through a reanimation of modernist abstraction. Being itself the story of abstraction, Capital shows how human relationships are replaced by those between commodities in the joyless grind of endless accumulation. This process results in the transcendent mythical figure of capital, which frames, transfigures and even produces the natural world. Asparagus: A Horticultural Ballet was produced in collaboration with Montreal based band Les Georges Leningrad and commissioned by The Showroom Gallery, London. It was presented live at Conway Hall in London on 6.3.07 and at the Montreal Biennale at SAT on 12.5.07. The performance was accompanied by a film at the Showroom gallery and preceded by a production residency at the Pump House Gallery. The film has subsequently been shown at The Golden Thread Gallery, Bluecoat Liverpool and as part of A-Lot-Ment in Portsmouth. Props from Asparagus: A Horticultural Ballet, were included in The Eagle Document at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London.