Eat the earth... and become a plant? A culinary performance
GlogauAir open studios, Berlin, 2017
Eating the soil remains a widespread practice in some African cultures and in India, in some rural areas of the United States or Mexico. This practice, already described by Hippocrates in the 4th century BC, is related to the belief that the soil, and in particular clay, absorbs toxins and protects against infectious agents, cures gastric problems and prevents or fights nausea and vomiting. The ingestion of soil is then common among young children and women, and researchers currently suggest that these benefits are real. Of course, except in the case of of mental disorders, the soil is not eaten as it is, by handles picked up at same soil, but boiled after being collected in depth.
But geophagy is also the most widespread of the PICAs (compulsive consumption of inedible products). This pathological practice of ingesting raw soil (up to a kg per day) can then induce anaemia due to iron deficiency, metal poisoning and pesticides, infections by parasites, serious constipation, a muscle paralysis...
I made a "earth" preparation based on cocoa biscuits and planted with radish sprouts, alfafafa and mustard, to enhance the sweet and crunchy side of the "earth" with a more humid and spicy touch.
The reactions were very diverse, as the film was broadcast at the same time, suggesting a transformation induced by soil consumption.
The receptacles of the black ceramic preparation with seed impressions were installed in the middle of the sound sculptures. "Listening to the earth" instalation also emerged as a real soil substrate, which caused some participants a slight concern. The sounds coming out of the black rods, from the movements of invertebrates, produced a very peaceful sound to enjoy in an almost zen way an experience that was at once gustatory, visual and sonorous.