Floriade Whisperings

Sound work by KCCM with four audio plays about the Amstelpark
To be experienced daily on four locations -> read the article in NRC
(13/2/21)

The sound work Floriade Whisperings by the artist duo KCCM (Krijn Christiaansen and Cathelijne Montens) consists of four audio plays on location in which the history of the Amstelpark is told from the perspective of four plants. The work can be listened to in the Amstelpark until 2022 and consists of the testimony of the Boxwood, the memoirs of Lily Gracia and the Japanese Knotweed, the elegy of the weeping beech and the monologue of the Venom Tree.
Scan the QR code on the listening chairs to access the work on a smartphone, or scroll down for links to the sound file.

Floriade Whisperings can be experienced since November 2020 on four locations in the Amstelpark, the opening of the works was part of the event Welcome to the Parliament of Things.

Now that people have recently withdrawn into the cities, there is, just as during the Floriade of 1972, more awareness of other forms of life in the city and the relationship between people and non-people. Floriade whisperings takes place in this context and aims to make people aware of all those other actors and residents of the park in a light-footed, humorous and accessible way. While in the West we have long viewed nature as a backdrop for human actions, it has recently become clear that the backdrop has entered the stage and non-human forms of life are equally actors in our shared living environment. Floriade whisperings plays with this and is a way of introducing people into the perspective of the plants and trees in the park, which are attributed a history, a story and their own experience.

Although the stories are told from their point of view, the tone is anthropocentric. This makes it easier for people to identify with the plants and plants hold up a mirror to people. For the locations of the four audio plays see the map below.

1. The Fall, the elegy of the weeping beech
, Listen to the Weeping Beech (listening on-site gives a better, more immersed experience)
Floriade Fluisteringen; 2020; Krijn Christiaansen & Cathelijne Montens (KCCM)

A small wall betrays the presence of the former French pavilion buried underground. A path bordered by rotten railroad sleepers leads from the main avenue over the overgrown roof of the pavilion along the trunk of the weeping beech. This beech was still a young small tree in the Floriades era. By now it has grown into a medium-sized giant and the inscriptions in its bark testify to dozens of tender loves. It has seen the lovebirds come and go, experienced the heyday of the pavilion, but also its downfall. With his great curtain of branches, he conceals the decay. Wear headphones to experience the full effect of the original recording.

Text: Pim Muda
Voice actor: Maarten Wansink
Sound design: Tijn Hazen

Location: Go left after the mini-golf (seen from the main entrance), after 200 meters there is a small hill on the right, go up.

Foto's: Roel Backaert   


2. The monologue of the Venom Tree,
Listen to the Venom tree (listening on-site gives a better, more immersed experience)
Floriade Fluisteringen; 2020; Krijn Christiaansen & Cathelijne Montens (KCCM)

Behind the Belgian monastery garden, there is a venom tree of which the story goes that at the time of the Floriade it was pruned into the shape of a dove of peace. Anyone who sees this yew, which has grown considerably by now, would not guess that this was its original shape. It most resembles a large, bloated Mickey Mouse. In a monologue, the yew tells of its gradual transformation, the way it is meticulously pruned every year by different gardeners with the best of intentions, but that there is nevertheless something inside it that just cannot get used to its imposed identity. He tells about his unimaginable power to grow and about how he was able to escape from his corset right through the pruning. Wear headphones to experience the full effect of the original recording.

Text: Pim Muda
Voice actor: Olaf Malmberg
Sound design: Tijn Hazen

Location: In the triangular lawn next to the monastery garden, near the Belgian pavilion/Tekenkabinet.


3. ‘Origin’ the memoirs of Lily Gracia and the Japanese Knotweed,
Listen to the Lily and the Knotweed (listening on-site gives a better, more immersed experience)
Floriade Fluisteringen; 2020; Krijn Christiaansen & Cathelijne Montens (KCCM)

In a small but unusually designed pavilion, Grace Kelly christened a lily named after her in 1972. Recently this pavilion was demolished. With this, the spatial carrier as a reminder of this event has disappeared. Previously, this support stood there, but only a few knew what the pavilion was originally built for. For a long time, it served as a picnic spot, smoking place, shelter or resting place in the park. In this radio play, Lily Gracia and the Japanese Knotweed tell of their origins, life’s journey and glory years. It takes the listener into the genesis of the park as seen from the two plants’ point of view, touching on current topics such as the changing treatment of exotics. Wear headphones to experience the full effect of the original recording.

Text: Pim Muda
Voice actors: Olaf Malmberg, Gaby Milder, Pim Muda
Sound design: Tijn Hazen

Location: on a bench on the main path, from the main entrance 100 meters after the mini-golf.

 



4. Buxus vs Jos L., the testimony of the Boxwood,
Listen to the Boxwood (listening on-site gives a better, more immersed experience)
Floriade Fluisteringen; 2020; Krijn Christiaansen & Cathelijne Montens (KCCM)

In 2015, the Amstelpark figures in the music video Drank & Drugs (Lil’Kleine and Ronnie Flex) were directed by Sam de Jong. A number of human animals, ride a boxwood, a tree and a lawn. The park visitor can listen to the testimony of Boxwood. In it, she talks about power relationships between humans and plants and sexual harassment. In passing, she reveals that she was diagnosed with Cydalima Perspectalis (boxwood moth) shortly after the incident. After this radio play came about, all the boxwood plants in this form garden were uprooted by the municipality.

Text: Pim Muda
Voice actors: Gaby Milder, Pim Muda, Maarten Wansink
Sound design: Tijn Hazen

Location: in the garden of shapes, in a park next to the Orangerie, via the entrance of the Rietveldhuis.

 

More on Floriade Whisperings

The artist duo KCCM developed Floriade Whisperings as a result of Exploded View, year-long research (2018-2020) into the Amstelpark, which consisted of meetings with ecologists, gardeners, policymakers, visitors and archival research into this Floriade park and is partly a continuation of an artist in residence of KCCM at Zone2Source in the Amstelpark (2015).

Concept and research: Krijn Christiaansen & Cathelijne Montens (KCCM)
Text: Pim Muda
Voice actors: Olaf Malmberg, Gaby Milder, Pim Muda, Maarten Wansink
Sound design: Tijn Hazen
Translation: Ton Heuvelmans

This project was developed in collaboration with Zone2Source and made possible in part by:
Amsterdam Fund for the Arts AFK and the Niemeijer Fund Foundation

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Floriade Whisperings was developed in collaboration with Zone2Source, an international platform for Art, Nature & Technology in the Amstelpark, Amsterdam. In the coming years Zone2Source wants to develop the Amstelpark into a park for art and ecology and a testing ground for the Chtulucene, in which we practice the intertwining of man and nature. Other works that allow visitors to experience the Amstelpark differently are Plantsoen Sociologie by de Onkruidenier, Buzzbench by AnneMarie van Splunter, Odoshi Cloud Sequence by Ronald van der Meijs, Pit Portal by Karin van Dam, and the soundwalks Secret Garden by Justin Bennett and Audio Dérives by Esther Hoovers.

View all locations of the outside art works on the Amstelpark art map

 

Outdoor art works, Shadow Floriade outdoor artworks