How plants sense and react are still somewhat unknown to us. They do not have nerve cells like us humans, but they have a system for sending electrical signals and even producing neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and other chemicals that the human brain also uses to send signals. Plants have analog structures that enable them to transform the sensory data they collect in their daily lives, integrate it and, as our humans, behave appropriately in response. This makes them completely without the organ that we recognize as the brain. Plants have all the same senses as humans. In addition to for example taste, they can sense gravity, the presence of water or even feel if there is an obstacle in the way of its roots before it comes into contact with it. The plants will then sometimes change direction to avoid these obstacles. They also respond to sounds and music. Some pieces of music seem to be so good that they strech out towards the loudspeakers.
In the performance Lost in Paradise, Monica Winther will sing and chant to the visitors brought-in, beloved, sick or perhaps just a little pale houseplants to bring them inspiration, vitality and growth.
About the artist:
Monica Winther (b. 1976) studied at the Bergen Academy of Fine Arts and also recently graduated as a gardener from the VEA vocational school (Norges grønne fagskole). Her practice spans a large variety of media ranging from installation, video and performance, to sculpture, drawing, and painting. Her artworks and performances have been presented at the Stenersen Museum, Tafkag, Henie Onstad Art Center, Rekord, Norwegian National Theater, Monkey Town New York, LNM, Astrup Fearnley Museum, LIAF – Lofoten International Art Festival, and Preus Museum. In tandem with Kersti Vetterstad, Winther created the artist duo Mom & Jerry and Valhall’s Daughters. Winther lives and works in Oslo. As both an artist and a gardener, she has progressively, over the past years, included horticultural strategies in her work.