INTIMACY OF STRANGERS
Installation and interactive performance (pollen, speakers, velvet) 

ISSP Gallery, 2020

The title is borrowed from an evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis who characterised it as the most fundamental practice of becoming-with each other. The core of Margulis’ view of life is that new kind of cell, tissue, organ and species evolve primarily through the long-lasting intimacy of strangers. One such example of the intimacy of strangers is the orchid and pollinator relationships. Orchids are well known to have flowers that look like a specific female pollinating species. Inspired by the creative collaborations or cross-pollination visitors were invited for a dance.

The piece was created in the time when the meaning and the sense of touch has been altered and the interconnectedness amongst beings made more visible. It includes two stories of extinction. The mating call of the last male Kauaʻi ʻōʻō was last recorded in 1987 and was included in the sound piece. Ophrys Apifera orchid that has now resorted to self pollination holds the memory of an extinct wasp species. We know of that pollinator only because the orchid flower still holds its shape in its flower.

Sound piece: Ceylan Hay aka Bell Lungs
Constume design: Anastasija Golubeva
Photos: Andrejs Strokins, Ingus Bajārs