Potato Performance consists of a series of a hundred potatoes propped on matchstick legs. The potatoes were placed in a dark cellar during a three-month period, during which they grew many kinds of sprouts. The potatoes were exhibited, and subsequently photographs of them were published in a book that was sold to benefit blind children’s right to take a state-subsidized taxi in order to visit friends—an allowance that was threatened with termination at the time.
The project underscores the anonymous potatoes’ ability to develop such a wide range of qualities as their sprout system gropes for light. The inherent power of the tubers appears with full force: the sprouts grow until there isn’t the slightest bit of energy left in the potato, which transforms into a petrified, wrinkled relic of its former self—a process which can take up to three years.
"Potato Performance," 1997 Potatoes, matchsticks Dimensions variable "Potato Performance," installation, 1997 Potatoes, matches, aluminum, Plexiglas 300 x 40 x 40 cm Photographer: Björn Keller
"Potato Performance," installation, 1997. Potatoes, matches, aluminum, plexiglas, 300 x 40 x 40 cm. Photo: Björn Keller