Proteiform installation, work in progress since march 2020.
Abortive plants, cuttings and seedlings, greenhouse, neon lights, growing lights, research table, fanzines.
Manure of nettles, comfrey & horsetail, cuttings hormone (willow water), black soap.
Many thanks to Monique Forestier and Fred Blondeau for their advice and generous contributions.
This project has received support from the Occitanie region, under the individual creation aid.
A(r)bor(e)tum is an artistic research about contraception and vegetal abortion.
Since immemorial time, in all civilisations, plants have been our allies, for our well-being, for embalming or for our food.
Also used for their medicinal virtues, notably contraceptive (for men & women) and abortive: plants are capable to provoking menstruation, favouring contractions, avoiding the implantation of the embryo, inhibiting the fertilising capacity of spermatozoa or generating reversible azoospermia.
From research based initially on the thesis : Les plantes réputées abortives dans les pratiques traditionnelles d’avortement au Maroc, supported by Meryem El Fennouni and on L’encyclopédie d’utovie : inventaire des plantes abortives, I chose to cultivate in greenhouses and growing lights, about twenty plants according to their climatic needs and the plurality of their therapeutic properties.
A(r)bor(e)tum was born and developed in the form of a greenhouse at Sauvageonnes ! ehibition (March & September 2020). During Frontier(s) exhibition (October 2020) a research table dedicated to natural gynaecology and plant contraception presented various works and a donation bank of 6 species of seeds invited the public to use them to disseminate them wherever they wished. During Frontier(s) exhibition (October 2020) a research table dedicated to natural gynaecology and plant contraception presented various works and a donation bank of 6 species of seeds invited the public to use them to disseminate them wherever they wished.
Today A(r)bor(e)tum have twenty growing plants exposed to the public, about a hundred cuttings redistributed and seeds donated.
This interactive, collaborative and multifaceted project aims to propose within 2 years:
>> a connected and automated GREENHOUSE, to cultivate seedlings, cuttings and plants at any latitude.
>> a LABORATORY for the transformation of plants from the greenhouse.
>> a LIBRARY dedicated to gynaecological naturopathy, male contraception, permaculture, plant contraception… presents various books and fanzines that can be consulted on site during the exhibition.
>> a GRAIN DONATION BANK made up according to the temporality and growth of each plant. The seed donation bank accompanies the greenhouse during the exhibitions, and offers visitors the opportunity to use and disseminate them wherever they wish.
>> a worldwide COLLECTION of RECIPES about traditional uses related to contraceptive plants.
>> a WEB SITE dedicated to the project offering all the useful documentation to reproduce the installation: plan of the greenhouse & computer programming, optimal conditions for the growth of each plant, gynaecological and therapeutic recipes for plants…
A(r)bor(e)tum proposes to emancipate ourselves from the omnipotence of the pharmaceutical lobbies, by reconnecting with our bodies and our ancestral knowledge. It is an alternative to hormonal medicalisation, an invitation to take our health in hand, to become more autonomous by rediscovering the power of plants.
A strategy of resistance to the patentable whole, this project is carried out under creative commons, licence, so that it can be reproduced by all those who wish to do so. Vegetative propagation: cutting, division by tufts or the barter of plants and seeds are favoured when purchasing plants.
A(r)bor(e)tum is also a response to many legislators who want to regulate our right to choose and prohibit us from freely disposing of our bodies, as recently in Alabama, Poland, or during the Geneva Consensus Declaration, an initiative led at the end of October by the Trump government, where 32 countries took a common anti-ivg position.
-RESEARCH NOTEBOOK –
Before starting A(r)bor(e)tum, I had absolutely no knowledge of botany. The only plant companions that shared my living space and my moves were a few cacti inherited from my grandmother and a jasmine.
Fascinated by this project, concerned about taking care of the plants generously donated for the Sauvageonnes! exhibition in March, by Monique Forestier and Fred Blondeau, I was lucky enough to be welcomed with the company of these young plants, in the countryside, in an artistic collective during the first lockdown.
By surveying the surrounding woods, observing the plants growing, looking for solutions to prevent invasions of voracious insects, reading up on sites dedicated to permaculture, missing my oleander cuttings, solving failures through discussions with my gardening enthusiasts neighbours, my skills developed little by little.
In a closed space plants are more fragile and regularly attacked by a whole host of parasites: leafhoppers, mealy bugs, aphids, … With each attack, the appropriate defence has to be found. I have therefore experimented with various solutions: nettle liquid manure, comfrey liquid manure, lavender liquid manure, black soap … with varying degrees of success.
The Daucus Carota seedlings have grown, the plants have developed, some cuttings have died. A Senecio Vulgaris taken from the forest, an Agave Americana and its suckers saved from the voracity of ants, a Salvia Officinalis, a Ruta and a Petroselium offered by artists of the collective joined the greenhouse.
During real or virtual talks, a collect of therapeutic recipes based on the plants of the greenhouse is being put together.