This was a session at Untitled Festival 2020.
At UNTITLED, Mari Keski-Korsu will enact a performative intervention called ‘Holding Space with Yarrow’. It is a participatory and performative session that engages with yarrow through foot baths, hydro bodies and meditation. Yarrow (Siankärsämö) is one of the oldest plant remedies in Nordic region and is considered to help with many illnesses and conditions. The plant has about 150 names in Finnish, all describing its different features. The names connect linguistically to the Baltic Sea area healing culture that is documented in poems and stories. Yet what may this powerful plant, which many consider merely a weed, mean for us today? How could its voice be heard in human communities?
The session can accommodate 15 people per session; 5 on site and 10 online. The sessions are not suitable for anyone allergic to asters (composite plants). If you’re taking part in Holding Space with Yarrow online, please prepare your foot bath in advance. You can consider this as a ritual towards our time together – making something ready for yourself with a lot of positive energy and love.
Collect about four handfuls of yarrow flowers and leaves from your yard or nearby park. In urban areas, the best places to find yarrow are abandoned sites where grass is not cut. If you can’t find the flowers anymore, search for the leaves. Remember to respect the plant and don’t collect everything, leave something to continue growing, too.
To prepare your foot bath:
– Add the yarrow into a litre of hot water
– Leave it for about 20 minutes
– Pour the hot yarrow water into a washing basin and add enough water for it to reach your ankles.
– Don’t put your feet in the bath right away, let’s do that together
– Have a towel and pair of clean, warm socks ready by the side
– As we start our session, sit comfortably on your chair so that you can see the screen to connect with everyone and your footpath is close to your reach.
Mari Keski-Korsu is a transdisciplinary artist who explores how ecological changes manifest in Everyday life. The work is based on Collaborations with different kinds of communities, individuals and species. Her medium of expression is a hybrid combination of performance, visual arts and live art. Her current practice for several years now, is focused on interspecies communication and care, aiming to enable empathy towards whole ecosystems. She is interested in intersections in between art, activism and science from permaculture and ecofeminist perspectives. In 2020 -2022, she is an artist member of an art & science team working in the Access Abisko program in sub-Arctic Sweden, researching on how climate breakdown affects values and rituals.
More about Mari Keski-Korsu and her art at marikeskikorsu.net .
More about Holding space with Yarrow at www.artsufartsu.net/akantupakilla-lahirohtola
Photos: Ida Enegren / Frame Contemporary Art Finland.
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