WILD GARDEN UTOPIA II – WILD ISLAND (2019)
– with Bence György Pálinkás –
video (6 min, 27 sec)
“Eat it” – a Jersey minister advised some years ago to a senator demanding the eradication of the Japanese knotweed, listing the delicacies and forages that can be made of it. Laughter, then indignation and rebuke.
Knotweed is “invasive”: introduced as an ornamental plant, its spread and infrastructural effects made most European countries – but Jersey – enact its compulsory eradication. Knotweed is also a pioneer plant; the first to appear after volcano eruptions, stabilizing the acidic debris with its rhizome and withstanding the accumulated sulfur-dioxide. Storing nutrients, it contributes to soil formation and a more complex ecosystem.
Wild Island – the 2nd stage of Wild Garden Utopia, shot in Jersey –, imagines the renewal of a desolated land. From the arrival by raft to a new society, its scenes allure to topoi like flag planting, the geodesic dome or Aesop’s bundle of sticks – and their dichotomies: discovery / settling; civilization / dystopia; communality / “monoculture”.