Updated 58 days ago
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Within the walls of the deconsecrated church, bird song, the drone of insects, and the silent noise of soil underfoot, become one sound, thick and mysterious. Jimson weed, Lantana, Bitter nightshade and Stinging nettle are wrested from the earth by the umbilical tug of the sun's trembling light. Each species selected and cultivated by Okoyomon is united by a single natural property: the ability to produce poison. As Georges Bataille explained in his 1927 essay The Language of Flowers, "even more than by the filth of its organs, the flower is betrayed by the fragility of its corolla: thus, far from answering the demands of human ideas, it is the sign of their failure." Okoyomon too is interested in the antagonism these plants assert to the increasingly epistemic, and in Okoyomon's vision dangerously misguided, idea of nature as passive and vulnerable. Here, the flower, an image freighted with associations of purity, beauty, fertility and innocence is relieved of its symbolic burden,..