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Blooming Moss

Blooming moss X Old Pal
Collaboration of heritage clothing brand Old Pal with artist Dunya Frankshtein.

BLOOMING MOSS is a myth project, the main character of which is moss. The history of the project began with art interventions in the urban environment — graffiti / tags depicting moss sporophytes; In exhibition practice, the project takes the form of a speculative study in the spirit of the traditions of Moscow conceptualism and becomes a museum and gallery narrative in the genre of science fiction.

According to Dunya, Blooming Moss is the story of a study by the Czechoslovak scientist Helmut Luczynski. He discovered the amazing property of marsh moss — the ability to bloom, contrary to scientific dogma. This discovery took the whole life of the scientist, but he never managed to gain recognition from the scientific community and his experiment was forgotten in obscurity.

The total installation "Helmut's Wardrobe" continues the traditions of Moscow conceptualism and is dedicated to the history of the so-called "absent character", bryologist Helmut Nikitich Luchinsky, whose scientific discovery is "Blossoming Moss". The first part of the project was created as part of the Museum of Artificial History exhibition, a project held in 2021 at the Darwin Museum in Moscow, with the support of the Garage Museum. Then the artist's attention was focused on speculative research, pseudo-documentary and pre-construction of science art.

The second part of the Helmut's Wardrobe project is made in the post-ironic mockumentary genre — with the hypnosis of a space furnished with personal belongings, witnesses of the disappeared. The task is to show: what remains of the character after his disappearance, what remains behind the emptiness of his departure, in his desolation? Helmut's Wardrobe is the story of a character whose identity remains a mystery until a movie about him is shown.

The real frame is attractive, the viewer himself can feel like the main character of the story, even if only for a moment — to live part of the character's life, immersed in his "habitat". Swamp moss from which flowers grow is a metaphor for the entire exhibition as a whole. From the emptiness of oblivion, abandonment and disappearance, the facets of personality sprout, from the postmodern rhizome — metamodern hieroglyphic flowers. This project is the story of a character, and if Kabakov's Primakov, sitting in the closet, is closed in his sign system, then Helmut’s Wardrobe affably opens its doors to the viewer, inviting the viewer into the forest, even if it’s not Narnia, but the wilds of the mixed forest of the Central Russian zone.

Dunya Frankshtein is an interdisciplinary artist and curator. She graduated from the Stroganov Moscow State Art Academy (Department of Painting Restoration), since 2014 she has been taking part in gallery and museum exhibitions. Participant of the VI Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art and author of the projects Opera "Water" and "Blooming Moss", works at the Pushkin Fine Art Museum.

Especially for the project, the Old Pal brand released a limited edition of Irish tweed caps and vests.


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