To want to be what you are
2018
Live performance, installation: orchids, magnetic whiteboard, garden chairs, clay pebbles, flower stand, paper-maché, audio, photographic prints
Performance (15 min), installation (various dimensions)

Performed for exhibition life/forms 1.0, curated by Lucy Cowling: performances & workshops, publication double-page feature in zine. At Chisenhale Studios, London, August 2018
Performed for exhibition Drift, a project by WG Kunst, Amsterdam, June 2018

To want to be what you are is a live performance accompanied by an installation, touching upon the ‘intelligent’ seductive skills of orchids. In this performance, the orchids are the main actors. They are seated on a tribune, a display stand originally used in a flower shop. The performing artist wears a magenta dress and a fly head. This is the setting of a marketing-masterclass and the orchids are the masters of mimicry. It is the orchids that are invited to teach us, the humans, some of their extraordinary manipulative skills. These orchids are staged as intelligent beings who manipulate their target, the fly. What is addressed here is the mimicry master act of the orchid, aimed towards successful pollination which consequently will secure the solid evolutionary position of their kind.


Orchids are as sexy and seductive as they are intelligent and manipulative. They can mimic other flowers or pollinators to effectively lure in insects and reproduce — but it is not easy to be the very best at this job...

Orchids that want to learn masterclass tips for successful mimicry and seduction are welcome to come along to this live teaser led by Anna Frijstein. Learn tricks of the trade on the road to success!

Masterclass sessions will run between 14:00 - 14:30 and 17:00 - 17:30 only. Human visitors can bring along their own orchid participant if you do happen to have one on your kitchen window sill, office reception or comparable desk/shelf.

This event is part of life/forms. The series continues with:
life/forms 2.0 | Königin der Nacht at Kunstraum, Sunday 2 September with an interactive installation by Johannes Büttner and Bastian Hagedorn.

life/forms 3.0 | Wild Combination at Flat Time House, Sunday 16 September with a workshop led by Lou Lou Sainsbury.

life/forms 4.0 | at PEAK, Sunday 21 October with a movement class and performance by Rachel Cheung, led by Piedad Albarracin Seiquer.

The series is accompanied by a publication, which will be available as a free take-home and can also be viewed and downloaded via lucycowling.info. It is designed to be read in 'two page view'.

Many thanks to Lucy Cowling
Kindly supported by the Goldsmiths Alumni and Friends Fund.