À Fleurer

Floral and epistolary action, 2016.

“You deserve neither my poetry nor my flowers, so I am leaving you, and taking it all elsewhere.”

A weekly action in which the artist shares private letters from his own collection with a local florist, who interprets the contents of the writing in flowers.

The project reverses the legendary 1948 correspondence between the French novelist Colette and her Swiss publisher Henri-Louis Mermod, which involved Mermod sending weekly bouquets to Colette to which she responded with writing. The resulting collection of essays on floral themes was published in 1949 under the title Pour Un Herbier.

The first expression of À Fleurer was commissioned by curator Tarin Dehod, and involved the participation of florist Jill Wilges and screenprinter Michael Peterson. The letters addressed themes of abandonment, sexual frustration, emotional exhaustion, blocked creativity and the trembling beginnings of new love.

The second iteration was staged at Platforms Athens with the Greek title,
σε ανθώ. Local writer and composer Kiriakos Spirou selected single flowers from the Athenian hills in response to letter pages sent to him by the artist about inherited gardens and the poetry of Constantin Cavafy.

À Fleurer was staged again in 2021 at the Newlyn Art Gallery, in a twelve-week iteration. Each week, local florist Zennor Wild interpreted the text of a postcard sent to her by Nemer.

The weekly floral arrangements were exhibited in the gallery alongside a growing accumulation of postcards. The narrative took inspiration from a visit to an exhibition of photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, and reflected on lost love and personal relationships to images and acts of curation. 

Photos by Derek Sandbeck and Emilie Swann