Sunflower Goddesses, 2017

#The human-nature synergy

Video, 11 min 05 sec

The first massive phenomenon that changed the order of things in the relationship between man and nature was the invention of agriculture in the Neolithic era. This ancient invention continues to be the main guarantor of the existence of mankind today. The preservation and development of the experience accumulated over thousands of years formed the basis of the concept of agrobiodiversity. It includes all components of biodiversity related to food and agriculture and constituting an agroecosystem, i.e. the diversity and variability of animals, plants and microorganisms at the genetic, species and ecosystem level, without which it is impossible to ensure the sustainability of the basic functions of an agroecosystem, its structure and processes. Most of the components of agrobiodiversity are conserved ex situ (within genetic banks).

Women played an important role in the process of the invention of agriculture. While collecting, they drew attention to the cyclical nature of meteorological phenomena and the patterns of the plant world, which prompted the invention of agriculture and made it possible to create a stable and reproducible basis (in the form of reserves of fruits and grains) for maintaining the existence of ancient tribes. The invention of agriculture in the Neolithic era led to the emergence of the ancient cult of “Mother Earth.” Numerous archaeological finds confirm the widespread existence of this cult in ancient times.

In order to update this historical background, the artist discusses the role of women in the conservation of agrobiodiversity today. Speaking about Russian agrobiology, one can state a significant prevalence of women in the teams of scientific institutes and among field workers related to the reproduction of collections of genetic banks. The video shows the process of reproduction of the sunflower collection at the Kuban experimental station of the Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Genetic Resources. Just like 12,000 years ago, female goddesses are occupied with the preservation of the future for humanity.

Sergey Kishenko

Sergey Kishenko

Sergey Kishchenko (b. 1975, Stavropol) is an artist, whose practice equally encompasses performance, theater, cinema, video art, installation and photo documentation. Considering art as one of cognitive tools, he constructs contemporary mythological environments and studies its attributes as newly i…