Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

From 1 October to 30 December 2021

Elena Bajo

A Rising Wave Breaks on the Shore of Time (Tomorrow I Was a Plant)  

I propose a choreography of sculptures generated by a Manifesto of Plants. This project explores vegetal systems as narrators of their own ecologies from a psychoactive eco-feminist, non-binary perspective, focused on ancestral botanical knowledge and the entheogenic use of medicinal plants.  Nature as a witness of its own situation in a moment of planetary urgency, and as a generator of an an-archive of images, a lexicon of new terms, which generates choreographic scripts for performative sculptures.

My offering is an interdisciplinary project of ecological research, in which I propose medicinal plants as narrators of their own history, as an alternative source of and tool for knowledge and the reconnection of humankind with post-nature. Using plants from the autochthonous medicinal flora of Madrid, ethnographic sources, the region’s ancestral archaeo-botanical, cosmological and prehistoric mythologies and with the collaboration of scientific and discursive entities, the project will be materialised in a series of body choreographies and material elements, sculptures and performative paintings, video and a text-poem (Manifesto of Plants).


Elena Bajo is a Spanish artist, educator, choreographer and co-founder of the collective D'CLUB, dedicated to climate activism, and the P-A-D Project, Wonder Valley, in the California desert, where artworks and discursive performance art pieces are developed. Her multidisciplinary artistic practice weaves both personal and political elements into materials and movements that generate alternative narratives and involve ideas of nature and the body as a social entity that questions its relationship with capital ecologies. She usually works with performative sculpture, workshops, dance, painting and video. She obtained an MFA from Central Saint Martins (London, 2005) and a Master’s Degree in Genetic Architecture from ESARQ (Barcelona). She studied Laban and Bartenieff Movement Analysis at TanzFabrik, at the Contemporary Dance Centre of Berlin, and was a co-founder of the temporary art project Exhibition (New York, 2009). She has presented performance art pieces and exhibitions, been a teacher and given lectures internationally. She received a grant in 2021 from A/CE (Spain) at the European Ceramic Workcentre, EKWC, NL; the Hopper Prize 2020; an Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, in 2019; the Visual Art Grant of the Botín International Foundation, in 2018; and the Audemars Piguet Award, ARCO Madrid, in 2017.