Studium Generale - Gosie Vervloessem

Lecture-performance: ‘The Horror Garden’

The Horror Garden is an investigative performance and installation about the relationship between humans and plants, which questions a number of important issues. Do people treat plants with enough respect? Do plants feel recognized and understood by people? Can the relationship between people and plants transcend the unlimited mutual exploitation? What can we learn about ourselves if we consider plants as the significant other and what kind of horror can this lead to? What happens when plants break out of the background of our living rooms?

When searching for an answer to these questions, Vervloessem calls on a number of horror movies in which plants frighten us. Sometimes they attack us head-on, but often the horror lies in waving branches and rustling bushes. Colonization runs like a red thread through the story: colonization of territory by humans and plants, colonization of organisms, bodies and spirits…

Bio - Gosie Vervloessem (Herentals, Belgium, 1973) As a performance artist, Gosie Vervloessem experiments with the laws of physics for domestic use. Her work focuses on observing natural phenomena and asking questions about it. Everything seems so logic, but what is the logic behind it?

In 2014 the focus of Vervloessem’s work shifted to eating, digestion and indigestion. It resulted in lecture performances, open labs and an online magazine about slow processes, invisible friends and foes, about hygiene and control in the kitchen. How to relate to an unclassifiable world that is chaotic, unhygienic and messy? Vervloessem has been pushing the idea of the kitchen as a sanctuary and a playground for uninvited guests even further.

Her research invites invasive alien species in a domestic setting. What are the values that underpin invasion ecologies, and how can they be applied or denied in baking an apple pie? Currently her research dives deeper in the relation between the vegetal kingdom and Homo Sapiens, through the genre of horror. With her work, she investigates the underlying ideas of our perceptions of nature.

Credits - Concept and performance: Gosie Vervloessem
Dramaturgy: Einat Tuchman
Production: wpZimmer
With the support of: cc Strombeek en de School van Gaasbeek

Installation in reaction to Gosie Vervloessem's lecture 'The Horror Garden'

Artwork by Jeremi Biziuk:

Installation in reaction to Gosie Vervloessem's lecture 'The Horror Garden'
Installation by Jeremi Biziuk
"I got intrigued by the theme of horror in relation to plants, thus a decision to somehow translate a horrific action into sculpture came to be, in form of a piece of a tree being violently cut in the middle of the hallway. I also used only tools I made myself, including the small hatchet, in this horrible act. I like to think of it as sort of absurdly cannibalistic, a tree being cut by something made of wood, and of something processed by wood, while lying on a wooden furniture.”



Thu 14 November 2019 16.00 - 17:30


Auditorium KABK