Pepper Project: You’re So Hot!
Peter pepper, photography, books
“You’re so hot!” has a double meaning in this planting project, which not only alludes to taste, but also to desire. I found the Peter pepper (a type of Capsicum annuumon) on a seed shopping platform by chance. This chili has a special shape and resembles a male sexual organ, so its nickname is the “penis chili”. Humans use artificial selection to breed animals and plants selectively in order to develop particular phenotypic traits (characteristics), and Peter pepper is one of the results of artificial selection.
The seeds were planted in March 2015, and when they became freshly sprouted pepper seedlings, they traveled with me to different cities in Europe. 27 men were chosen and asked, whether they were willing to have a pepper seedling named after them. Later, they would get a record of the growth of their plant via email. During the process of growth, an artificial environment was created in my home (with controlled heating and artificial daylight) to ensure that the peppers would grow well. I lived with “them” and that formed a new relationship between me and these men. In this case, I positioned myself as a jury and mocked the concept of the beauty pageant under the patriarchal society, and tried to establish a method in order to “regain authority”—What will the new criteria of selection be? Can “size” be used to define whether these peppers have an ideal form? I explored processes of control and lack thereof, and how these concepts could switch.
Pepper Project: You’re So Hot!, exhibition view, 2016, Octagon, Berlin