Seeds of Bliss is an ongoing project, a series of events that took place in neighboring cities in the Middle East. It began in August 2012 as a humorous response to Ai Weiwei's Sunflowers, which was exhibited at Tate Modern, London in October 2010, encouraging people to travel to a neighboring city in the Middle East for a few days to chew sunflower seeds with their neighbors. The target: chewing 10 tons of sunflower seeds and spitting the shells on the ground until they formed a giant heap the size of a mountain. The participating cities were: Aqaba and Eilat, Nablus and Haifa, Jenin and Afula. Eventually, the mountain of shells was to be shipped and exhibited in London. The project was interrupted in November 2012, with the Israeli military operation in Gaza “Pillar of Cloud.” The war made it impossible to carry out joint Palestinian-Israeli activities in the West Bank and the designated 1.5 tons of seeds requisitioned by the Governor of Nablus remain un-cracked to this day, a testimony to the precarious and volatile reality of the region.
Seeds of Bliss takes the sunflower as an emblem of the Middle East and produces a contemporary performance piece commenting on the relevance of contemporary art practices in peripheral regions and their contribution to the Western and international discourse. It challenges the notion of what is original and what is its reproduction, what is central and what is peripheral and their corresponding hierarchy. Seeds of Bliss is a project by Noam Edry in collaboration with the Haifa Museum of Art and Artis. Curated by Ruth Direktor.