This intervention was done at Absolut creative space in Sofia, Bulgaria in June 2016.
Everybody knows the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It is a very well known story but also a story that many times is interpreted in a very linear way. It seems as if human kind made a mistake by biting the apple. But the story shows us much more. Adam and Eve were innocent in the garden of Eden. Everything was perfect and beautiful. From our perspective this seems like a wonderful thing. But when you only know beauty and no ugliness, when you only know perfect and no imperfection you will not be able to see it. You will be blind for it because we can only feel joy if we also know sadness. We can only acknowledge and appreciate true beauty and kindness if we have also experienced the opposite. Adam and Eve were like children. Children take the world around them for granted. It needs experience to develop the virtue of appreciation.
The Apple is called the apple of knowledge. From the moment Adam and Eve took a bite from the apple they fell from the garden. They entered the actual world where sadness, ugliness and despair are just as present as beauty, kindness and perfection.
The mere existence of the two extremes in our world enables us to feel tension.
Too much tension can be intimidating and stressful. But the right amount of tension also makes us fall in love, tension makes us appreciate flavour and smell. Tension enables laughter and joy and stimulates the best music and art.’
‘Let’s focus on the apple and the grapes you have in front of you. Just look at the fruit while listening to my voice. Look at the colour of the fruit. You can use the tea towel you received to polish your apple or clean your grapes. Look at the shapes and the irregularities of the skin. focus and concentrate on the stems and the weight of the fruit in your hand.’ If you were in the garden of eden you wouldn’t be able to notice te beauty of the fruit you are holding.
‘What we are going to do now is very simple. Everybody will make a blindfold of the tea towel and put the blindfold on. What we do is that we will mix all of you and place a person holding an apple in front of someone holding grapes. Don’t worry, we are not going to do anything unpleasant. This experience is focussing on beauty and kindness.
Is everybody blindfolded? Now we will mix everybody up. We will help you to use your right hand to hold the upper arm of the person in front of you so you have a sense of location and know where the other person is.
It is good to know that you will stay anonymous. So you will never know who was in front of you and the person in front of you will never know it was you. You are in the same situation, on the same level. Have mutual trust. You are both blind. Say to the other person: I trust you.
Say it out loud all together. I trust you.
Think about this person in front of you. Imagine this is the most wonderful person on earth. A person you like to be close to. A person that smells like fresh apples.
Whisper softly HELLO in the ear of the person in front of you. We start with the person holding the apple. Try to find your partner’s ear and whisper ‘hello’. Now the person holding the grapes. Whisper ‘hello’
The person holding the grapes: pick one grape from your bunch and gently feed it to the person in front of you.
The person holding the apple, open your mouth and take the grape in your mouth. Concentrate on the feel of the grape, how it cracks in your mouth when you bite it and how the juice flows out. Concentrate of the flavour and try to remember the specific taste of this single grape as if it was the first grape you ever ate.
Now the person holding the apple, take the apple and take it in your mouth. Don’t bite a piece off it! Just take it between your teeth and hold in in your mouth while the larger part of the apple sticks out.
The person in front will now take a bite from the apple. Let’s do it all together so we can all concentrate on the sound this will make.
One, two, tree… bite
And now the person holding the apple will finally also take their bite.
Concentrate on the firmness of the apple, on how juicy the apple is and on the shape of the part you just bit off.
Try to remember the specific flavour of this apple as if it was the first time you ate an apple.
Now we will mix you guys up again before you take off your blindfold.
The response I got was that it was a very positive, once in a lifetime experience. It was an intimate, sensual and for some, highly emotional experience.
Absolut Creative Space Bulgaria, photos by Georgi Panchev and Ivan Velev
Experience, Food, Performance