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DOCUMENTS     About : Lost paradise, Nicolas Deckmyn (BE)

About : Lost paradise, Nicolas Deckmyn (BE)

April 29th 2002

The Journey of the Crow
Floral Torture

Nothing is less innocent than what appears soft and docile. It’s the credo of the datura, the hymn of the monkshood, of the gentian and the lily of the valley. Lie down on stinging nettles to feel life’s force running through you. Roll about in the wet down covered in formic acid, the digitalis’ bells and understand that what is alluring is only passive in its trickery or in its miscalculation. Marie-Jo Lafontaine rolls about in the acid of her existence. And on that bed of stinging nettles she assaults Daguerre and makes the developer communicative through persistent retinal assault. She lies in her own way to illustrate her reality.
Copper acetate, potassium ferricyanide, acetic acid, dipropylene glycol, boric acid, ammonium chloride, potassium alum intimately mingle with calliandra, Aloe Helenis, with the roses and frangipani to form what others would call “ administrative politics for the assimilation of misleading messages”.
The main difference being that Marie-Jo doesn’t expect compliance. In theory she despises it. Just when you thought that time was counter cultural, she creates a traditional bouquet and molds it into something that insinuates austerity and dejection, like the last of Velasquez’ royal elite. A true massacre. Now that we think we have mastered everything, or that we have absolute dominion, she throws us what we lost along the way: the enigmatic. The issue of danger.
Just when the neo-psychedelic movement was resurfacing in the late eighties, she reintegrated flowers into the dramatis personae of our environment so as to give them a specific role. She drew the petals out of their submissiveness, placing them on pedestals. In a backwash of organic satin, whirlpools of roses, she already denied them their virtue. Flowers no longer have the power to end wars, no, but they did retain the appearance of the beaten-down victim and continuously remind us of our own imminent death. Their soft perfume is only there to prolong somewhat the illusion of life. Deprived of their reproductive functions, city flowers are nothing but whores in window boxes moaning in agony. Far from urban phantasies, wild flowers are courted by genetically modified grasses that will one day render them infertile.
And we believe that they will never strike back? We are so wrong. Vengeance is hidden beneath the cover of their tenderness, behind their plea for caresses and in their playful yelp, the thorn… or the insect, the subjective ally who will gladly avenge the ridiculed stamen. The fury of the feeble is often devastating when it erupts. “I am violet and curvy, eat me” says the Alpine colchium. “I am pretty and inoffensive, touch me” says the clematis. Lactone glucoside, aconitine, lycorine, acetylcholine, ranunculin, protoanemonin, all premeditated toxins.
To simplify things: the flowers want to harm us. The flowers are taking up arms. The flowers are conspiring against us. The flowers have already managed to convert the artists to their cause. The flowers will invade us. Kill the flowers!!

(*) The journey of the crow is a term used to describe the State but also to describe the consequences of ingesting a solution made from the root of datura, a dangerously psychotropic plant. This “journey” sometimes establishes a channel of communication with deceased ancestors. It is often a very disturbing experience and certain people get “stuck” in it, resulting in permanent trauma.

Nicolas Deckmyn