Stéphanie CAILLEau

The Wasteland, the Claytonia and the Tagger

There was a wasteland where I began observing wild plants. While scanning the ground, I spotted a backpack full of spray paint cans, and I decided to investigate. As I wandered around the neighborhood looking for the same plants and tags as I’d seen in the wasteland, I realized that two paths converged: that of the tagger, SDK, and that of the plant, Claytonia Perfoliata. It occured to me that taggers, in a way, are unwitting gardeners. As they move around in out-of-sight areas, such as the wasteland, they come into close contact with wild plants, carrying seeds under the soles of their shoes or in the folds of their clothes. Then, they inadvertently plant these seeds in new places. It struck me then that the seeds and the tagger were on a common journey. To highlight this journey, I composed a poem and then pasted lines from it near five SDK tags. The last line of the poem is found on a wall in the wasteland and is accompanied by a painting of the plant, Claytonia Perfoliata.

Under your feet a seed
it clings to you
following you step by step
it waits silently
here it takes root
Claytonia perfoliata

July, 2023