“Choreographie of Species: Rosa Tannenzapfen” is the first canvas-based exhibition in which the artist Paolo Chiasera didn’t participate in the curatorial decisions but merely acts as a pure space.
In occasion of the invitation at Momentum 7 Chiasera invited the former curator of the edition of Momentum 6, Marianne Zamecznik, in cooperation with curator Elena Tzotzi from Signal Center for Contemporary Art, Malmo to exhibit in its canvas/space – thus extending its narrative in the new edition of the biennale. Following the curatorial statement of canvas-based exhibition:
The potato & the goddess
In the nineteen-seventies the Lithuanian-American archaeologist Marija Gimbutas developed a fundamental glossary and a pictoral “script” for the religion of the Old European Great Goddess. The amorphous potato is reminiscent of the Goddess-Mother Creator cult objects/ figurines collected and interpreted by Gimbutas. According to her, the figurines represent or embody the Great Mother who gives birth to all things from her womb. Gimbutas built up a convincing argument for understanding the agricultural communities of Neolithic Europe, the agricultural peoples‘ beliefs concerning sterility and fertility, the fragility of life, the constant threat of destruction, and the periodic need to renew the generative processes of nature. The figurines were central to the Goddess Cultus: “The main theme of Goddess symbolism is the mystery of birth and death and the renewal of life, not only human, but all life on earth and in the whole cosmos. This symbolic system represents cyclical, not linear, mythical time.”
The emancipation of the patented potato
As opposed to the notion of cyclical time, our potato also represents the geopolitical and economical aspects of one of the most mundane, everyday agricultural product in our time; the potato as a produce for consumption. It symbolises the complex interests, both economical and political, that have direct effect on the production of the various varieties of potatoes (and all kinds of food), that are available - or not - to the consumers through the market. In her ongoing project “Potato Perspective” artist Åsa Sonjasdotter has gathered an impressive bank of knowledge on potato varieties, their history as well as a map of the political and economical forces that shape the development of potato varieties today. Potato perspective has resulted in several activities, amongst others the “Order of the Potato” developed in collaboration with Prinzes-sinnengarten in Berlin in 2010 (for more info on “the order” see http://www.potatoperspective.org) Rosa Tannenzapfen, or Pink fir apple, is one of the oldest varieties documented in Europe. Its earliest origin is documented in England in 1850. In February 2013 Rosa Tannenzapfen was selected as the potato of the year 2013 by Bioland, Germany’s largest organic farmers‘ association. Its shape is reminiscent of a pine cone, because of their very overgrown, finger-shaped tubers, with deep, often scale-like eyes.