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Nattens drottning (Queen of the Night)

performance with costume/sculpture (plastic, wood, tooth pics, paper, foam, plastic, metallic, spray paint, laquer, vanilla and orange blossom fragance) and coffee

Queen of the Night is a blooming performance that stages the bloom of a special cactus. The audience is invited for coffe during the performance that lasts only a couple of minutes. Afterwards the flower rests on the floor, whithered.

The Queen of the Night (Selenicereus grandiflorus) is a cactus species formerly common as a house plant in Sweden. Each bud opens up late in the evening and booms only for one night. In the dawn the flower withers. The blooming comes with a fragent reminding of orange-blossoms or vanilla. It was custom for someone with a queen of the night bud about to bloom to invite neighbours and friends to the house for a nocturnal coffee and experience the spectacular bloom collectively. This custom has been known since the latter half of the 19th century. The plant is concidered ugly when not in bloom and is today not very common anymore.

Installation view from Soon Enough - Art in Action at Tensta Konsthall.
Photo credit Jean Baptiste Beranger