Barbara Benish & Enrique Leal USA / CZE/ ESP
SOWING SEEDS, 2021
Video, 4:05 min
Concept: Barbara Benish & Enrique Leal
Photography & video: Enrique Leal
Pod sculpture: Barbara Benish
Voice performance: Soroush Sanaeinezhad
Poet: Omar Khayyam (1048 - 1131)
Film location: ArtMill, Bohemia, Czech republic
“Sowing Seeds” is a metaphor of the life cycle, from growth to decay to restoration. A montage of filmic images and performative actions of nocturnal flowers and gardens is captured on a full moon summer night. Earthworms and slugs inhabit the darkness of wet soil, infusing the humus with nutrient-rich life. This non-human world becomes abundantly diverse, reproducing and regenerating in the absence of anthropogenic presence.
Barbara Benish is an artist, curator, writer and farmer. She moved to Prague in 1992 as a Fulbright scholar from the U.S. after co-curating “Dialog: Praha/Los Angeles” in 1989. Benish installed the first images on ArtWall, in Prague, twenty years ago (“flower power, 2000”), an idea realised with the Center for Contemporary Art. Her work has been shown in hundreds of international exhibitions and institutions in Europe and the U.S., including P.S.1/MoMA Museum (New York), the Getty Museum (L.A.), the Stadtgeschichtliche Museen (Germany), and the National Gallery in Prague. Benish is the Founding Director of ArtMill in rural Bohemia, and eco-art center that fosters environmental education since 2004. For ten years, she worked as an Advisor to the United Nations in Arts & Outreach focusing on environmental issues, and sits as a Fellow at the Social Practice Arts Research Center (University of California, Santa Cruz).
Enrique Leal is a visual artist and Associate Professor of Print Media at the Art Department of the University of California in Santa Cruz. Originally from Recife, Brazil, Leal has worked as a printmaker in the USA and Spain before receiving his B.F.A. from the Polytechnique University of Valencia, and M.F.A. and PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Castilla La Mancha (UCLM), where he established the Print Media Area as a professor and researcher in 1998-2014. He obtained printmaking fellowships from the Institute of Iberian-American Culture and the Spanish Academy in Rome, and is a visiting artist/teacher at Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, Rutgers University. Leal’s work has been exhibited and is found in collections in Argentina, Brazil, France, Hungary, Spain and the United States.