On Poppies will be a moving image installation about the cultural significance of the poppy flower within historic and contemporary contexts. There is no other flower that has generated such a rich and controversial sociopolitical history. Humans have used poppies as a mechanism to ease pain and create pleasure in the body while also designating it as a symbol of remembrance related to the loss of life in wartime.
In this, the centennial anniversary of World War I, I will record the intimate making required in the fabrication of commemorative redpoppy flowers. This projection will be juxtaposed with the barely moving image of a field of poppy straw from the Papaver somniferum plant that is being cultivated in Great Britain. This crop is being grown in response to the world’s shortage of opiate-based prescription pain medications.
The poppy flower has ties to some of the most epic and difficult passages in human history. On Poppies will reflect upon this powerful botanical in terms of its medicinal and commemorative power, wherein one variety of the poppy is used to treat the body in pain while the other serves to mark and ease the cultural pain of a people.
Alison Crocetta maintains a hybrid art practice that draws on her experience working in the realms of the moving image, sculpture, installation and performance art. Many of her films and installations have explored the impact of performed action on the form ofsculptural matter. On Poppies is perhaps most closely related to her sociopolitical video work entitled, Bear in Mind (The Bill of Rights) that lays out the entire Bill of Rights as a performed text in American Sign Language and related spoken word. Both of these projects seek to establish a platform for critical discourse by presenting issues in a way that allows space for reflection and multiple points of view.
Crocetta was awarded the Franklin Furnace Fund 2011-2012 for her forthcoming project for live performance entitled A Circus of One (Act II) in collaboration with composer Zac Little of the band Saintseneca. Crocetta was the recipient of the 2010-11 EMPAC DanceMovies film commission to produce A Circus of One in collaboration with composer, Jason Treuting of So Percussion. Her work has been exhibited and screened in a variety of venues including; Socrates Sculpture Park, Month of Performance Art Berlin, Outcasting: Fourth Wall (O:4W) in Cardiff, Wales, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, EMPAC in Troy, NY, Columbus Museum of Art, MIT List Center for Visual Arts, Weston Art Gallery, The Galapagos Art Space, Johns Hopkins University, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and Harvard University. She recently participated in the Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival 2014 in Chicago, IL and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Nordic Kunstnarsenter (NKD) in Dale, Norway. Crocetta is currently an Associate Professor in the Sculpture Area at The Ohio State University.