“Their sticky hair could have been rain as well as sweat”
Reflecting on art work ‘hosting soil’
On October the 30th I attended the open-air performance Hosting Soil by Franziska Goralski, Kitty Maria and Elise Ehre in South Amsterdam. Upon arrival three women -two dressed in blue airhostess costumes, one in a white overall- stood in and around a pit they were digging in a patch of grass. The person digging was standing thigh deep in the pit while being covered from the rain by an umbrella held by the two others.
The performance was set up on two locations in Amsterdam South where an excavation-like pit was dug of roughly a cubic meter. These spots were not random: they represent the most expensive and the cheapest land of the city district. First, the soil was heaped upon two carts and used as a makeshift picknick table from which the artists ate a two-piece lunch. The women took the carts to the second location a ten-minute walk away. Despite the proximity, we went from the highest priced land of the district to the lowest priced.
Many elements of the performance induced discomfort. The activities demanded hard physical labour: digging, shoveling, carrying the soil, and pushing the carts. The performance lasted several hours and it was clear the women became tired and hungry. The food looked like it was dug straight from the ground and heaped upon a glass dish. My discomfort was only enhanced by ….