07.06.2024 – 28.06.2024

THIRST / AN ORCHIDELIRIUM TRILOGY FILM

with Kristina Norman

What is it about?

Note: This film is shown at Kinobox, First floor, Prostneset Havneterminal, Tromsø

The film Thirst is a post-human choreography of displaced plants and machines. The thirst for luxury and abundance is the force that keeps the capitalist machinery running. The dry wells and the thirst for drinking water is what the local communities in Estonia are left with as the fragile wetlands are being drained for peat excavation in their neighbourhoods. Millions of tons of Estonian peat end up in greenhouses in the Netherlands where peat is needed as a component of the soil substrate for phalaenopsis orchids. While the mass-produced orchids may seem like a pathetic mimicry of what once was an extravagance of the elites, they are now a consumer good available for almost everyone. But the customers of cheap orchids have indeed consumed luxury, considering the massive invisible resources used during the manufacture process.

Thirst is an episode of Kristina Norman’s Orchidelirium film trilogy. Commissioned for the Estonian Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The work was shown at TKF as part of the exhibition Down in the Bog: Hibernation (March 22 - May 12, 2024), which was the first out of three chapters in a larger project consisting of exhibitions and events as sites for learning and sharing from peatlands around the world, arguing for the need for increased attention and care for these multilayered ecosystems. The series is curatorially composed by Karolin Tampere. From June 14 - September 1, 2024, the second chapter, Down in the Bog: Sporulation, takes place at EKKM in Tallinn, Estonia. The third chapter is a symposium taking place in Tromsø from September 27 - 29, 2024. Stay tuned for more information.

Kristina Norman (b.1979, lives and works in Tallinn) is an artist whose interdisciplinary work includes video installations, sculpture, and projects in the city space, as well as documentaries and performance. She is interested in the issues of collective memory and forgetting, the memorial uses of the public space, but also the subtle sphere of the body politics that transgresses the boundaries between the public and the private. In 2009 she represented Estonia at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with a solo project, a multilayered mixed media installation After-War. The project was a study of a conflict around the relocation of a Soviet monument in Tallinn and Norman’s public intervention in the former location of the monument became one of the most debated artworks in re-independent Estonia. In 2022 Norman represented Estonia at the 59th Venice Biennial with an ecocritical exhibition Orchidelirium. An Appetite For Abundance, a duo show with Bita Razavi, curated by Corina Apostol. Norman’s experimental film trilogy commissioned for the Estonian Pavilion, offers multiple ways to reflect on the legacies of colonialism from a specific Eastern European perspective.

Image courtesy the artist

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