Haraldsong The Garden of Cyrus Haraldchess300
Harald Smykla is a German artist, based in London since 1988, who studied at Karlsruhe Academy of Fine Art (1981-86). His current practice - largely process-based, intermittently collaborative - merges live art with unorthodox notions of drawing and object-making.
His site- and context-specific public interventions appropriate and transform the everyday, for example, through "re-facing" money, multisensory chess games, living manuscripts, dental sculpting, overhead "Reprojections" and other renegotiations of materiality and time.
Recent shows include 'MAP Live 2007' (International Performance Exchange: Carlisle/UK, Israel, Croatia) www.matrixartprojects.org/map_live.html, 'Haus der Vorstellung' (Berlin 2008) www.torstrasse166.de/Haus/Harald%20Smykla and 'East Wing Collection VIII' (Courtauld Institute, London 2008-09) www.eastwing8.co.uk/harald%20smykla.html.

Floral Chess

A durational, participatory performance.
Members of the public are invited to play Floral Chess with the artist.

The chess set is made up from six species of cut flowers that are locally available in distinct colour variants. Clear chromatic categories (e.g. warm vs. cold colours) signify whether a floral chess piece is on the side of black or white. The customised chessboard comprises sixty-four 'vases', alternately filled with clean or muddy water, which help to maintain the flowers' turgor.
Every player, regardless of individual chess skills, earns at least a small takeaway bouquet of captured chess pieces taken from both sides of the board.
Beyond Browne's interest in specific notions of chess, horticulture and geometry, Floral Chess references the melancholic spirit of the Baroque era, when every still life bore the underlying message "Memento Mori!"

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