A girl from Tartu becomes a white lady on the island of Java; a lady becomes an orchid; a lady of the manor becomes an artist; a servant becomes a lady of the manor; a manor becomes a NATO base. Estonian peat moss becomes the growing substrate for moon orchids in Dutch nurseries.
Kristina Norman's performance “Orchidelirium Expanded 2.0” grew out of her film trilogy (“Shelter”, “Rip-off” and “Thirst”).
The performance was inspired by the story of the artist's family and by the rediscovery of the biography and work of Emilie Rosalie Saal, an Estonian-born botanical artist and orchid collector. Between 1899–1920 Emilie lived in Indonesia on the island of Java in Indonesia together with her husband Andres Saal, a writer and an official working for the Dutch colonial power. She created numerous botanical drawings of the tropical flora. The performance continues to explore those stories together with the audience.
Trained as an artist, Kristina Norman (Tallinn) is active both in the field of contemporary art and documentary filmmaking. When addressing issues of collective memory and forgetting, and the memorial uses of public space, she often searches for ways to physically and symbolically intervene in the environments in focus. While many of her art projects are presented in the form of video installations, site-specificity and performativity are of great importance in these works. Her most recent works deal with exploring the thin boundaries between the human and the animal, being an European and the histories of Estonians becoming white.