Without plants there would be no life on this planet. But is that why we appreciate them? What do we pay attention to when we don’t need a bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s Day? What do we know about how trees communicate with each other? Or what does an ordinary dandelion do in dark ground?
Based on the knowledge that our human-centered view of the world leads us into a dead end of ecological ignorance and thus into self-destruction, Frankfurter Kunstverein sharpens our awareness of “plant intelligence”. tries to do and thus starts rethinking. The exhibition is conceived as an interplay between science and art. That is why, for example, in addition to the sublime greenery from the contemporary art world, so-called rhizotrons can also be seen. These are the measurement boxes of the Institute for Bio- and Geosciences at the Helmholtz Research Center Jülich, which make it possible to observe the root growth of plants in different soils.
From original research to work of art
Root research is also carried out by the Plant Sociological Institute in Klagenfurt, which uses photographic documents and careful root drawings to convey the idea of complex ecological interactions in soils. Diana Scherer, who works with the root systems of living plants, shows that the leap from scientific basic drawings to works of art is not far off. Scherer directs the root growth of oats, for example, with the help of stencils made of bioplastics in such a way that “tissues” with fascinating structures are created—nature’s geometry.
London artist collective Marshmallow Laser Feast also wants to make the beauty of natural structures and networks understandable: With the help of its virtual reality installation “TreeHugger: Wawona,” visitors immerse themselves in the metabolism of a giant sequoia tree in California’s Sequoia National can do. Park.
Sympathetic approach to the plant world
Berlinde de Bruykere also takes a sympathetic approach to the plant world with her “Embedded Twins”. The Belgian Lady’s “Embalded Twins” are two centuries-old oaks that were felled by Hurricane Cyril in 2016. De Bruykere’s sculptural redecoration has given tree skeletons something oddly necessary, making their presentation look like a ritual. With “Memento Mori” in the shape of a tree, the audience is confronted with a monument to vulnerability and transience. Work by Thomas Feuerstein, Abel Rodriguez and Nicola Tofolini completes the spectrum of the show.
“Plants of Wisdom” – until January 30, Frankfurt, Kunstverein, Römerberg, Markt 44, Tuesday-Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm (Thursday to 9 pm), December 31. Closed, 1.1. 2 pm to 7 pm; Information: www.fkv.de
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