New East Digital Archive

Moldovan artist to perform in London vegetable allotment

20 July 2016

Moldovan performance artist Pavel Braila will stage his piece Paper Work in a north London allotment this Saturday.

“In this piece I cover a square of land belonging to one of the plot-holders with white paper and then I make the action of peasants’ working hands, digging the earth with various tools used in different parts of the UK,” Braila told The Calvert Journal. “In the end it’s an action painting, it’s about time, it’s about politics and it’s about the basis of our existence but in this case, I am using my body to favour depth over flatness.”

“The piece I’m going to present is a reenactment of a performance I did in 2000 in the countryside of Moldova,” said Braila, who performed at Manifesta 10 in St Petersburg in 2014. “This time it will be in the UK and this shifts its perspective. Moldova is a no-mans-land — the UK is the centre of the world — although interestingly post-Brexit they have more in common now.”

Braila’s performance will form part of the opening of Closer to the Veg, an outdoor group exhibtion of 16 artists at Fitzroy Park Allotments. “This project is very much about encouraging collaboration between artists, plot-holders and the public,” said Sasha Galitzine, co-curator and producer (with Olga Mackenzie) of the project. “In these turbulent times it is pertinent to consider our roots in the earth and common ground as well as trying to provide a platform for playful, relevant and accessible art.”

Galitzine and Mackenzie, who are both of Russian origin, curate site-specific group exhibitions in places not usually designated for viewing art. In March this year they put on Playroom, a week-long project examining domesticity and furniture in an uninhabitated Georgian building in London’s Soho.

Pavel Braila’s Paper Work will take place at 18:00 on Saturday 23 July at Fitzroy Park Allotments, London N6 6HU.

Closer to the Veg runs from 23 July-7 August. More info can be found here.