project image
Christina deRoos

first performed on September 19, 2019
Jam Handy, Detroit, MI
performed once in 2019


Detroit, MI


“Thursday with a Plant” was presented on the eve of the 2019 Climate Strike. I was one of several artists in Detroit selecting and reinterpreting works documented in Emergency INDEX Volume 7. “Thursday with a Plant” was inspired by “Sunday with a Pine,” by Annette Arlander (Finland).

I was drawn to the opportunity to present the creation of portraits as a simultaneous live and online performance, and to explore a portrait process as a tool for self-reflection and community documentation.

A simple outdoor performance / portrait environment was created with a rocking chair, coffee table, solar lighting, and a variety of houseplants. Participants were asked to select a plant that resonated with them, and pose for two portraits which were used to create a multiple exposure digital image. After the images were captured, participants shared a word that reflected their feelings about plants or, more broadly, nature. The word was then added to the individual portrait, and the images were uploaded to Instagram.

The performance was an attempt to highlight that, regardless of one’s political perspectives, it seems we might all agree that plants are amazing and something we want to keep around. We may not all want them in our house, or find walks in the forest calming, or think that gardenias smell magical, but in one way or another it seems our personal experiences lead us all to feel that plants are fundamentally good for the world and our collective well-being.

The performance was also an attempt to prompt self-reflection regarding each participant’s sense of loyalty or commitment to our collective environment. The portraits and words ultimately seemed to reflect the intersection of the inner nature of the subjects and their perception of the state of our external, natural environment.