Featherston October 2013
I’m not sure the Featherston Guerilla Gardeners were attempting a piece of performance art when they clandestinely set up a garden in the vacant lot where a new supermarket is supposed to be built in the near future.
The essential events as they unfolded was that the group of activists in the dark of night planted a small garden as well as erecting a wind sock and placing a sign on the fence saying “World Seed Day.”
They invited the Wairarapa Times Age’s editor to interview them and explained that they were raising awareness of World Seed Day and being against genetic engineering.
While the photograph taken by the editor for the story showed the activists from behind, therefore maintaining their anonymity, another photo of two of the participants standing/dancing naked holding garden implements was posted on facebook and picked up and republished on the Wairarapa Times Age’s facebook page.
Ignoring any shock value, in fact the two naked people completed this piece of performance art, a play on the concept of “seed.“ The metaphor of seed (germination of life) was expressed by the naked male and female (with echoes of Adam and Eve).
The windsock, intentionally or otherwise, looked like a condom and hence was a direct reference to the seed metaphor, in this case the suppression of it (corporates forcing farmers to purchase genetically engineered seed from them, rather than using seed collected annually from their own non-genetically modified crops)
Obviously the protest was intentional, but how intentional were the added layers of metaphor? We will never know.