Plum cake. Berlin-Reinickendorf, Germany. © Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.
“Fruit often triggers a childhood memory; it’s emotional and familiar.” – Fallen Fruit Art Collective
(Un)Ripe with memories
Back in 2013, I moved back to the neighbourhood I grew up in and into a semi-detached house with a garden owned by the parents of an old friend. There was a plum tree in the garden, of which I had the pleasure of gathering fallen fruits from, and their taste was indeed emotional and familiar, because in the backyard of my childhood home, just 5 minutes from there, there was a plum tree, too. As I rediscovered my old neighbourhood, the plums’ taste made me remember the autumns of my childhood, when all too often I couldn’t wait for the them to ripen and got a stomachache from eating unripe plums.
Fallen Fruit is an art collective founded in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young that began by mapping fruit trees growing on or over public property in Los Angeles. The following paragraphs were taken from their website and Facebook page. You can watch a short film about their project (see video below) and read Janet Owen Driggs’ article Fallen Fruit and the ‘Thin End of the Wedge’ (on KCET Artbound) or Patricia Leigh Brown’s article Tasty, and Subversive, Too: ‘Fruit Activists’ take Urban Gardens in a New Direction New York Times.
“Fallen Fruit use fruit as a common denominator to change the way you see the world. Using photography, video, performance, and installation, Fallen Fruit’s work focuses on urban space, neighborhood, located citizenship and community in relation to fruit. The collaboration has expanded to include serialized public projects and site-specific installations and happenings in various cities around the world.
Fallen Fruit began in Los Angeles with creating maps of public fruit: the fruit trees growing on or over public property. We uses cartography and geography as an indexical platform to generate serialized and site-specific works of art that often embrace public participation. The work of Fallen Fruit includes photographic portraits, experimental documentary videos, public art installations, and curatorial projects. Using fruit as a method of reframing the familar, Fallen Fruit investigates urban space, ideas of neighborhood, and new forms of citizenship.
From protests to proposals for new urban green space, Fallen Fruit’s work aims to reconfigure the relationship of sharing and explore understandings of public and private, as well as real world and real time. We consider fruit to be many things; it’s a subject and object at the same time it is aesthetic. Fruit often triggers a childhood memory; it’s emotional and familiar. Everyone is an expert on the flavor of a banana. Much of this work is linked to ideas of place and family, and much of these works echo a sense of connectedness with something very primal – our capacity to share with others.”