From Flesh to Flesh
an artistic proposal
With departure in the old, farmer bred potato variety Kjøttpotet (Meatpotato), Sonjasdotter traces humans’ relations to their nurturing life cycles. The investigation comprises the cultivation of the nowadays rare potato variety Kjøtt, a functioning compost toilet developed and managed in collaboration with professor Petter D. Jenssen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Institut for Environmental Science, Soil, and a story told in text and images.
The story runs from the cultivation of Kjøttpotet and the sustenance culture it was bred within and for, to the shifted conditions for cultivation and growth through the discovery of a method for the fixation of airborn nitrogen. Norwegian industries were world pioneering in fabricating synthetically produced fertilizer. Since nitrogen is a limiter for biomass growth, it’s presense or absence is what limits the possibility for organic growth. The last century’s human demographic explosion in population has been possible alone because of this addition of synthetically extracted nitrogen to the ecosystem.
The overpopulation has become a threat not only to the humans’ own survival, but the life also of many species on Earth. This destructive dimension of humans’ life situation has become an apocalyptic reality of today. With the project Fra Kjøtt til Kjøtt, Sonjasdotter wishes to make a cut in this narrative, by proposing a very real and possible reconnection to nurturing circulations. The growing human population is maybe a threat to the balance of ecosystems, but it is also a resource. Humans produce waste that is highly nutritious for the soil. If their waste is cared for and circulated back to the soil, it will contribute to the nourishing of farmland, supporting also their own food production.
Link to pdf presenting the story.
Henie Onstad Art Centre, Bærum, Norway
June 10 – September 11, 2016