Kristyna and Marek Milde, Gone Wild, 2016, installation view at the Queens Museum framed photographs, table, molding, vase, local wild flowers, photo album , dimensions 8’x8’x3′
Gone Wild, is an ongoing project by the artist duo Kristyna and Marek Milde, engaging theme of culture-nature relationship present in the everyday situations. The project explores the theme of flowers in our culture, their use, symbolism, and traditions, while examining the ways, how they can educate and generate awareness about environmental context and ecology. The projects central idea is to utilize uncultivated local plants and wildflowers considered as weeds in place of their cultivated counterparts.
In the process the artists forage local wild flowers, both in the wild and also in the urban and industrial landscapes, to create flower bouquets and arrangements, which they use for their situationist interventions, and in variety of forms that include interactive installations and workshops, reframing cultural conventions.
For the exhibition Chance Ecologies: Queens at the Queens Museum Milde created a domestic situation, which features photographs in the frames, in which various people hold wild flowers bouquets, document series of interventions in to events and cultural rituals conducted by Mildes in which the artists offer individuals and communities to adapt wild flowers in to their festivities such as weddings, sweet sixteen celebrations, or children birthdays etc.
‘’While flowers function as a social mediator, we believe using them in the wild instead of its cultivated form may bring different symbolism in to our rituals. As wild signifies unpretentiousness we think the idea of Gone Wild can push our social relationships closer to honesty, allowing to express emotion and sentiments in a more candid way.”
While replacing the wild for the cultivated flowers, in the Gone Wild Mildes review the idea of beauty, the natural versus artificial, together with the symbolism of plants and flowers in general, exploring what role its idealized image, representation and cultivated forms plays in our traditions and lifestyles. The project responding to a variety of sites and ecosystems is a window in to the overseen and underestimated beauty of wild plants around us, presenting a model that can connect our cultural narratives, everyday rituals and important events in life with the happenings and events of the ever-changing cycle of seasons in nature.
Photographs documenting the various Gone Wild: Interventions in to the cultural rituals
As part of the Wild Flower Boutique workshop, organized during the Studio in the Park Residency at the Queens Museum, which had a form of a street florist stand, with bouquets in vases and buckets filled exclusively with wild flowers, similar to the common flower displays that can be found on the sidewalks or subway stations in the New York City. The participants were encouraged to bring uncultivated plants of their choice to the workshop or utilize those from the installation that has been foraged along Dyberry Creek by the artists to create their own wild flower bouquets and arrangements. In return the participants were asked to share an image of the bouquets once used for decorative display at home or given away as gift.
Photo documentation of bouquets displayed at home made by the the participants during the Wild Flower Boutique workshop at the Studio in the Park residency at the Queens Museum, August 2016