Il était une fois un tout petit pois is an installation that brings together several places, historical periods and socio-political contexts to consider the possibility of coexistence. It does not merely raise a theoretical proposition, it echoes a practical concern: “living together” generates immeasurable violence when it fails.
The installation positions the spectator in relation to the human vulnerability that arises when faced with violence and conflict. A variation of the fairy tale of the Princess and the Pea, a young girl sleeps on a pile of mattresses in the center of the room. She lies beneath a bedframe, on top of which there is an enormous pea in the form of a cannonball. This fairy tale derivative involves no wedding engagement; the girl is aware of an impending threat and looks for shelter. Despite the sense of danger, Badr calls on the surviving viewer to keep on dreaming.
Sara Badr Schmidt was born in Stockholm in 1968. She was raised between Sweden, Lebanon and France. Having graduated from École Photo et Formation à la Photographie (EFET) with a degree in Graphic Arts in 1992, she became the artistic director of Femme Magazine in 1993 (Beirut), and soon after founded One-Off, a graphic design firm in Beirut. In 2003, she founded Kaissadesign in Paris, a design company which she ran for several years. Recently, she launched a carpet design company in Paris called Snail Design. Her ongoing visual art project, Borderless, has been shown in a number of institutions, including Agial Art Gallery in Beirut (2012), Grand Palais in Paris (2013), and Nuova Galleria Morone in Milan