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What’s in my Name?

An Orchid is not just a flower but an accumulation of layers of claims, projections and violence within and through time. Defined by a name, categorization, and stories about heroes and hunters it becomes a symbol for things it has not given its consent to.

Audiovisual Installation, 2023

Aparupa Saha, Phuong Anh (PA), Lucia Salomé Gränicher, Larissa Platz

The logic of name-giving as an act of claiming not only unfolds in regard to objects and plants but also in regard to geographical territories and persons, where forceful assimilation, dominion and the erasure of intrinsic identity are imposed.  “What’s in my Name?” looks at the process of how the Orchid was named, classified and categorized. It connects this investigation to the circumstance that Pongso No Tao, translated into the island of the people, was renamed as Lanyu / Orchid Island. Therefore the Orchid transforms into the symbol of an island, discussing interviewing stories of violence and demystifying the romantic notion of landscapes. The careful dissection of the process of naming within this work deals with narrations which try to stabilize and protect implemented systems of power and where logics of protection unfold. 

Conceived by Aparupa Saha, Anh Phuong, Larissa Platz and Lucia Salomé Gränicher this work contained two components: a postcard stand with postcards, and an audio piece playing a collage of interviewed voices talking about the flower, the island and the naming of both. The postcard stand as the visual element is symbolic of an outside view, a fragmented tourist gaze, while the audiopiece through its raw conversational character gives an inside glimpse into the complex Taiwanese identity and voices on the island. 


The group was very keen to experiment with different topics and methods. An approach that led to fruitful discussions but also challenged the group’s time management and working process. In between the group had programmed a website, conceived a short performance, learned how to collectively stitch in a group environment and many more things. Ultimately the group settled on the topic of naming and claiming and was happy with the form it found, to discuss this topic. The working methods chosen involved research, listening to different peoples insights and positions and carefully rearranging the many fragmented narratives related to Orchids and the Orchid Island. The group learnt how to peel back layers of narratives to connect with a subject matter and present it as a bouquet of different  facets. Simultaneously the group was aware of the unreachability of grasping the whole picture, thus making this exact contradiction and fragmentation the core of the artwork itself.