Unnatural Practice

Take in the ephemeral beauty of flowers in a decaying Polish palace

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Unnatural Practice

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Director Aga Beaupré reveals the story-telling potential of nature in a new project showcasing the work of artist and multidisciplinary designer Marcin Rusak. Coming from a family of Polish flower growers going back 100 years, Rusak has long been fascinated by the transience of the natural world.

“This film is a tale of becoming. A visual manifesto, reflecting on consumerist culture, exposing and embracing the process of decay, destruction and renewal,” the director details. “Rusak turns the mass produced into ephemeral objects and allows nature to merge with the artificial.”

Beaupré captures the artist’s rich body of work and sublime imagination in a haunting 19th-century palace in Świdno, Poland. The building has become the unwitting incubator of a microclimate ideal for plants and new root systems to grow in search of light and water.

Rusak’s experiments with flowers, stems and leaves make brief appearances in this film that contemplates the transmutable quality of nature. Using resin, glass and amber the artist puts decaying flowers in a type of stasis by incorporating them into tables and lamps for his ongoing design collection. The magic of his work is that the flowers continue to slowly decay—some pieces lasting months and others set to survive for years; a document of transience.

“Forced into symbolic shapes, the plants are given a second life as ephemeral objects,” the director describes, “but it is through the moving image that their story is vocalized. Their tale becomes a balancing act between shape and scent, memory and ignorance, life and decay, image and sound.”April 12, 2021

Marley Hansen
Editor: Marley Hansen

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