Monika Konieczna’s project has been inspired by events in the artist’s life and the phenomenon of synchronicity: The frequency with which butterflies appear in my life has prompted me to take up the notion of falling in love. I have decided to lure butterflies into the Auditorium. I’m interested in the chemistry of love – hormones and chemical reactions occurring in humans in love. The title of the action refers to β-phenylethylamine, a derivative of phenethylamine, which is one of the main psychoactive compounds triggering the state of euphoria and attachment. According to Jung’s conception of analytical psychology, the anima is the unconscious feminine component of men, the ideal of a woman, which unconsciously complements men’s conscious attitude. The butterfly is also the symbol of the soul (Latin anima) and metamorphosis.

 The artist arranges a 16.5-meter-long flowerbed and plants flowers whose scent attracts butterflies. She supplements the installation with alchemic recipes for aphrodisiacs. During the performance, the artist lets herself be led by the insects and follows their movement. The installation is accompanied by sound – a scientific text sung out in falsetto. The text is an interview with chemist Janusz Wiśniewski talking about chemical compounds connected with love.

In this way, the unused flowerbed of the Auditorium was for five days transformed into a peculiar laboratory of love.


photo by Małgorzata Kujda

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