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Pinar&Viola

Watch Pinar&Viola reimagine Earth as a talking flower

The artist duo share an exclusive clip from their new film Mother Earth in Paris, a response to the problem of our time – climate change

It comes as no surprise that radical artist duo Pinar&Viola have responded to the Paris climate talks by reimagining mother earth as a futuristic talking flower who speaks in consciousness–building aphorisms. Here they share an exclusive clip of their new film Mother Earth in Paris, currently on show at Gleichapel gallery in Paris.

Modern day soothsayers, the work of Pinar Demirdag and Viola Renate is always dripping in futuristic excess, while speaking to the social and political conditions of our time. Whether they’re making a collection of porcelain plates that celebrates the polyamorous families of tomorrow, or creating an online "smoking room" that lets users smoke virtual cigarettes while surrounded by air-purifying peace lilies, their work taps into new trends and movements. Mother Earth in Paris is a preview of their Healing Prints Image Collection, which will be shown during Paris Fashion Week in September 2016, and excerpts of the film will also be shown on MTV.

Here, Pinar&Viola use visual activism to embrace the power of mother nature through healing plants, inviting us to rise up and meet the current environmental crisis through a heightened planetary awareness.

 

How you have both felt the healing influence of plants in your life?

Viola: Last summer, I had the honour of participating in a series of Ayahuasca ceremonies. I’m amazed by this ancient Amazonian medicine – it gave me insights about the richness of life, the depth of my being, the universe and the mystic interconnectedness of all these things. It’s medicine for the heart, a heart opener. But it’s not only pleasant, ayahuasca has the power to confront you as well with your deep fears, pains and impurities. The beauty is that the drink can help you to face these fears and to give you new insight about them. Still, ayahuasca is really not your “problem solver”, you have to do the work yourself.

I wish for a future with acknowledged, well-respected, therapeutical ayahuasca spas in cities. We, “the Western man”, need it more then ever, as we are so disconnected with our own spirit and with nature, as a result all the crises around us. Last summer I also spent time in the forests of Finland. I was with my Finnish girlfriend, who is so nature wise. We picked mushrooms, harvested berries, gathered healing plants for tea and made beauty masks. Every evening we went into the sauna and swam in the lake. Only then I realised how much I am missing nature in my life.

Pinar: All natural plant-based beauty products are our favourite cosmetics. It was a gradual process and started a few years ago. One day we both got a consultation from beautician Kristina Holey. We realised that we don’t want to put any chemicals on our skin anymore. Since then, plants are also the rulers of our beauty routines.

How did you know what Mother Earth looks like?

Pinar: Mother Earth changes day to day. There are times she can be a tornado and destroy everything, or even use rain to heal nature from fire. In our times, where we like to iconographise any given topic, we thought that mother earth can take the shape of a nature lady with a face made of peony petals. Our 3D-sensual mother earth functions as a future trends forecaster, surrounded with fashionable textile prints.

Were the statements in the video completely sincere?

Pinar: All our quotes are sincere, collected from different streets of the internet. We are utterly tired of the numerous serpent faces of irony, visible through the humblebrag, hipster habitat and self-devaluation etc. Irony started feeling like a coat hiding your weak self confidence. A coat with soft rose petals outside and with thorns inside. I think as we’ve matured and heightened our awareness as human beings, we felt the urge to distance ourselves from irony.

Viola: When it comes to these wisdom quotes, we see them popping up in our visual spectrum. Our tea has mindful quotes printed on its label, Forbes’ website has a new quote on their website each day. We are subscribed to an emailing service called Project Love which sends you a love quote every morning and BBC World service offers a wisdom quote every day. It’s very clear to us that the search for wisdom is not exclusive to us.

Who do you hope sees Mother Earth in Paris?

Viola: We see the gallery as something between a chapel and a boutique window. We hope our Mother Earth window reaches all the people walking in the streets of the Marais. It’s close by the location of the terrorist attacks that happened on November 13. People are carrying trauma, so we hope our installation brings some warmth and trust back to the streets,.

Pinar: Especially after the attacks, mainstream media was filled with polarising words about terror and war. The fact that French national elections came right after these horrid happenings, fed the average citizen’s primitive hunger of action/reaction. The peace messages from Mother Earth functions as a counter to this alienating political polarisation.

We’re aiming to catch the gaze of the fashionable crowd of the Marais, make them stop, walk back and listen to what Mother Earth has to say. It is by getting into the skin of the influencers that we can reach more people and encourage them to embrace a more altruistic state of mind. 

What do you hope comes from the climate talks in Paris?

Pinar: First of all, it is shocking to realise that the urgency of climate change has never received the attention of a crisis like the financial crisis. Today, Chinese kids are under house arrest for three days because of the high level of toxins in the air. Sounds like a dystopian sci-fi script, right? So to be honest, these days we are skeptical with anything relating to ecology, including the climate talks. Ecology can be used as a sales trick. On the other hand, we believe that the bubble of cheating and lies always bursts. We anticipate that Volkswagen is currently paving the way in order for other climate scandals to erupt. 

Unfortunately climate is not taken as seriously as terrorism. A week after the deadly happenings in Paris, France can attack Syria; but they cannot take the same measurements when it comes to ecology. However this is nothing new, positive change takes time. Look at the history of slavery - sometime you need to say something one million times in order for it to be understood. 

Viola: If we based ourselves at the 1989 TIME cover which states Earth as the planet of the year, the first time climate change makes a mainstream media appearance, then now in 2015, we still have a long way to go. We see COP21 as one step on the tall ladder of reaching planetary awareness. We think that the climate crisis will be solved by the people, with a process of rising awareness and planetary engagement, not by politics nor by corporations. Start with yourself, be the change you want to see in the world and act on what you know.