FLOWER UNION: OPENING CEREMONY

“Without flowers, treaties would not be signed, oaths would not be kept, the spirit of mutual cooperation would just... disappear”. In exploring the societal dimensions of plants, Jakub Jansa’s short film, created to mark the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council, plays on the tropes of today’s political activity to underscore the inherent absurdities in its discourse.

What happens inside a floral bouquet during an important political meeting? Maybe flowers are not only decorative, but also beautiful and even more beautifully smelling. But what if they could be more proactive and get involved in issues of global proportions? 

In the world of plants, flowers have an irreplaceable representative and diplomatic role. Now they even have their own union, an infinite union in the circle of medicinal flowers. Their garden ceremony for the opening of the presidency is given in the form of what is known as an “appreciation dinner”, a type of gala dinner, in our world, held for the elites and the media. As in the people’s world, a comedian is invited, here in the form of a “Celery-man”. Hybrid characters between vegetable and human. 

The supernatural figure of a claivoyant, no longer able to predict the future, takes over the direction of the second part of the film, activating decorative flowers in the form of an eco-sexual festive ritual. The fortune teller shows the plants that by putting pistils and calyxes together they can reach out to the public and change the course of things. So hopefully their ability to see into the future will return.

The work is also an open homage to several works of art history, such as Annie Sprinkle’s

Marriage to the Earth, or John Baldessari’s Teaching the Alphabet of Plants, or Taryn Simon’s series of photographs depicting bouquets standing on tables during important political meetings.

A film directed by Jakub Jansa, created for Flower Union exhibition produced by National Gallery Prague, as part of Czech Presidency of European Union 2022, Curated by Michal Novotný
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Bio

Jakub Jansa works with film, installations, and performance event organizing. He builds complex environments and situations that convincingly link reality and fiction. After several works dealing with the topics of manipulation and self-development (ex. Spiritual Fitness, 2016), Jansa‘s current activities resulted into an ongoing episodic project, a series of exhibitions, named Club of Opportunities. Club of Opportunities was launched in Prague, and the next chapters were presented, for example, at the CCA Tel Aviv, Izrael (2019), CEAAC in Strasbourg, France (2018), Athens Biennial (2018), via Pioneer Works at PAF Festival in New York, USA (2018) and HEK, Basel, Switzerland (2020) among others. He graduated from the Supermedia Studio led by Federico Diaz and David Kořínek at Prague’s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, and attended an internship in New York (Five Eleven) and residencies in Switzerland (Watch Out, Engstligenalp) and France (CEAAC). Since 2020, he has been co-heading the Performance Studio at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology, alongside Julie Béna. He is one of the laureates of the 2021 Jindřich Chalupecký Award, which was split among multiple people for the first time in history. 

https://jakubjansa.com/

Credits

Director: Jakub Jansa @jakub.jansa

Script: Jakub Jansa, Dominik Dabrowski, Alice Krajčírová

DOP: Kryštof Hlůže

DOP assistant: Tomáš Merta

Editor: Sebastian Kučkovský

Music: Oliver Torr

Costumes: Overall Office (Karolína Juříková, Kristýna Nováková)

Photography: Iryna Drahun

Performance: Jan Kostiha, Ester Geislerová, Kamil Nábělek, Trin Alt Vajd, Markéta Vutru,

Dexton Kotora, Katsuhiro Iwashita, Veronika Čechmánková, Jakub Samek, Zai Xu, Linda

Vondrová, Rokhaya Gueye, Anita Lubadika, Adéla Sobotková, Mary Nguyen, Linh Nguyen,

Agáta Hrnčířová

CGI: Matěj Martinec

Production: Agáta Hrnčířová

Make-up: Majda Vaverková

Mask: Eliška Pitráková

Sound master: Nicolas Atcheson

Grading: Kryštof Melka

Lights: Tomáš Prajsler

Focus puller: Mihir Khulkarmi

Costume assistant: Františka Králíková

Special thanks: Plevel (Beáta Melková), DJ Bingo, Vít Svoboda, Růst Cakes, Jaroslav Gazda

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