Your Wound, My Desire 

Earthenware vases, flowers, participatory action, artistic research, 2022.

In collaboration with potter Linda Herrlin, Nemer produced eight terracotta vases, each one inspired by a different depiction of the early Christian martyr Saint Sebastian, among them images produced by Derek Jarman, Louise Bourgeois, Andrea Mantegna, and Yukio Mishima.

The arrow wounds that represent the saint’s martyrdom were replaced by holes through which flowers can be inserted.

As part of the 2022 exhibition Traces of Desire curated by Albin Hillervik, four of the vases were displayed at the Ystads konstmuseum and activated by members of the local LGBTQ community. Each week, an invited participant travelled to Ystad to make a floral arrangement, sourcing flowers either from their own gardens or by visiting a partnering florist in nearby Malmö.

The participatory action sought to trace a transhistorical lineage between contemporary queers and past generations of homosexual and gay men who made pilgramages to churches and museums to gaze at depictions of the saint.

In 2021, during a residency hosted by the konstmuseum and På Spaning Efter Scanie, Nemer presented a flower-arranging performance lecture using the bisque fired vases entitled Can A Vase Be A Wound?

På Spaning Efter Scanie published a catalogue of projects created during their residency programme, which included four artist pages based on Nemer’s performance lecture, entitled An Unfinished Letter to Saint Sebastian.

Photos Benjamin Rembson