If Only Flowers Could Talk by Clarisse Pillard

In her project “If Only Flowers Could Talk”, French artist Clarisse Pillard talks about the “behind the scenes” of offering flowers to someone, confronting us with images of their mass production and the logistics behind it. In collaboration with Adèle Pavia, the artist also published a photo book on the topic, “I heard that without pain, there ain’t no gain”, that shows photos of those flowers that have not survived these systems of production and consumption. See pictures of the two projects and learn more about Clarisse in today’s “All Eyes On”.


“If Only Flowers Could Talk”

by Clarisse Pillard

Offering cut flowers might manifest joy, sincerity, and various feelings. It might mark a form of attention or a request for attention. Sometimes, flowers seem to replace those words that are impossible to formulate. And offering flowers — these ephemeral objects — appears more as a social performance. In an installation that plays with words and images, I question their commodification and pick them as an example to highlight the systems of dependency that are inherent to our exchanges, and the systemic loops — that drive, push but also constrain us — in which we are caught. In this room, you won’t see (or almost no) flowers because this project isn’t about flowers as such or about their aesthetic power, but about everything around them before they arrive on your dining table, whether it means logistics and mass production. 

I heard that without pain, there ain’t no gain

by Clarisse Pillard and Adèle Paiva

The photo book “I heard that without pain, there ain’t no gain” was realized in collaboration with Adèle Pavia. It draws the limits of the commodification of cut flowers by collecting photos of those flowers that have not survived these systems of production and consumption – in other words, those flowers that have been sacrificed by the scale of the means deployed.

About the artist

After studying design in the Netherlands, I gradually turned to the fields of visual arts and documentary filmmaking, to develop an artistic image-based practice in which I intertwine journalism, graphic design, writing. I deploy an interplay of words and images to question the systemic, emotional, symbolic, and often invisible relationships we have with our consumption of language, objects and media… At the moment, I am questioning consumables: those objects that we buy or offer, for a monetary sum. I wonder what the purchase and possession of these consumables reveals about our social patterns and our beliefs and superstitions. 

To unfold my critical standpoint, I often take as a starting point a detail of our daily life such as an object, a place or a word and pursue a work of observation and reflection based on empirical and theoretical researches. Fiction, staging, but also documentation, distortion and depletion of reality, are some of the processes I use to project concepts in my realisations. My projects are not intended to be answers to my questions, but they offer the spectators to appropriate and resume these questions in their own terms. This research-based practice is sustained by a daily need to listen and tell stories, while seeking to understand the broader social, economic and political frameworks in which these personal stories are inscribed in order to reveal their universal character.

Get in touch with Clarisse

Instagram: @clarrrrise

Get in touch with
Adèle Paiva

Instagram: @alaid_povio

Read more about the project 


All images courtesy of Clarisse Pillard
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