Can a vase be a wound? 

Artistic research, terracotta vases, cut flowers, video projection, performance, 2021.

“Is the stream of longing between me and everything St-S represents, or is it between me and those artists who chose to depict or embody him?”

As a conclusion to his residency at the Ystads Konstmuseum, Nemer shared his research into floral cultures and the history of queer feelings through a flower arranging performance. 

Flowers were inserted into a series of specially created terracotta vases produced in collaboration with local ceramicist Linda Herrlin. Each vase abstractly corresponded a depiction of Saint Sebastian from art history, referencing Derek Jarman, Andrea Mantegna, Ron Athey and Catherine Opie, Giuseppe Giorgetti, Louise Bourgeois, Kishin Shinoyama and Yukio Mishima, and Gerard van Honthorst. The vases were punctured with wound holes, and theflowers replaced the arrows of Saint Sebastian’s martyrdom.

The performance took place in the museum’s auditorium, with pianist Gustaf Brandt improvising music based on Claude Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien. A video projection posing questions that emerged from Nemer’s research, and featuring a vast collection of images of Sebastian throughout art history, accompanied the performance.

The vases created for Can a Vase Be a Wound? will be glazed and refined for inclusion in Nemer’s Spring 2022 duo exhibition at the Ystads Konstmuseum with Conny Karlsson Lundgren, curated by Albin Hillervik. 

Photos Benjamin Rembson