CLANDESTINE BED FLOWERS
A project of urban dramaturgy created by
15-30 september 2021
CAM, C.so Garibaldi 27, Milan
from 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.
and Cultural Ass. Due Punti Aperte Virgolette
In the city sidewalks, there are small spaces, microscopic abandoned lands, traces of human activities that nature uses as makeshift “homes”, to regain possession of the territory stolen in an aggressive and violent way by overbuilding.
The bases into which are inserted the pipes supporting the election posters, the road signs, the iron bollard arches that prevent chaotic parking become involuntary containers for GREEN ASSAULT TROOPS.
These spaces can be colonized by HERBS, PLANTS of different species coexisting in these delimited spaces. They usually are circular, more rarely square, often distorted, with a diameter of a few centimetres (from three to ten depending on the case).
In this way, SPONTANEOUS URBAN MICROGARDENS, TEMPORARY CLANDESTINE BEDS FLOWERS rise from the asphalt.
According to the anthropocentric point of view, these green “invasions” are abusive, invasive. From the point of view of wild nature, they are a manifestation of strength and resilience.
- These small spaces, filled with earth and seeds carried by the wind or birds, sprinkled with rain, can be populated or repopulated in a few days and show a happy coexistence between various species of herbs, or a homogeneity. Nobody waters them, nobody takes care of them. These little SEEDLINGS can only count on themselves in the few centimetres they have to live. Their life cycle, exposed to rapid and radical changes, is determined not only by the intervention of man but also by climatic conditions.
- A luxuriant CLANDESTINE BED FLOWER can die, or partially dry out in the event of prolonged drought, and intense heat. Or it can show its resilience by restoring a dense microvegetation thanks to abundant rain and a favourable climate. It can be erased in a few moments with a pour of concrete, asphalt, or with a special rubber stopper, for an intervention of road maintenance, or to restore the original function of the hole (to support the poles). In this last case, a small, great act of cruelty to vegetation takes place, that reflects in a micro-space what is happening on a large scale to the entire planet.
These MICROGARDENS are places of apparent chaos, disorganized, rebellious lands of coexistence among different species of herbs in bonsai format. At the same time, their evolution is also controllable by man. Moreover, if they obstruct the passage, threaten the viability, safe walking or city dignity, they are destroyed.
In the Clandestine Flowerbeds, nature is free and at the same time harnessed, forced, bounded by a border established by man.
The Herbs are in an “abusive” situation, housed in a place destined for other functions by humans, but temporarily forgotten by them.
We are witnessing a struggle between the “autonomous” reuse of an object, created and employed by man, and the adaptation to an artificial presence, to a foreign body by the plants. Nature regains her own space, through an invasion, a vital boost of greenery.
The concept of FRAGILITY
and that of RESILIENCE coexist
in a DIALECTIC way.
The constant mapping of these places highlights
the TEMPORANEITY, the PRECARITY of their presence
and at the same time their STRENGTH,
their RESISTANCE capacity to “external” attacks.
Their destruction causes a melancholy similar to that derived from the cutting down of a centenary tree. Their even “aggressive” vitality, thanks to which nature tears and gains ground at all costs, reminds us of the power of this last.
What does “Playwriting In Urban Spaces” in this project consist of?
- In the search of GREEN CHARACTERS among the streets of Milan by the author who photographs them at different times of the year.
- In the construction of their STORIES and following their life, their evolution, involution, growth, expansion, or (SNIF! ….) eventual extinction over time, in “real-time” and in flashbacks.
- Day after day we witness an ENGAGING STORY: the struggle for survival in microformat, by these little GREEN CHARACTERS. They adapt to live in apparently unlivable spaces which they transform into an environment tailored to their own size.
To follow the project, go to the dedicated episodes-articles quite soon published in the BLOG.