Queer Nature

Queerness in nature can be found everywhere. This ongoing investigation explores the little known, disregarded, and rare intimate behaviour of the botanical world.

Location Basel, Switzerland
Time frame 2017 – 2020
Commission type Self-initiated
Exhibitions VI PER Gallery Prague, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
Talks Royal Academy of Arts London, Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, Theater Festival Basel, Camden Art Centre

The plant kingdom is manifold. An infinite variety of shapes, colours, textures, and smells, it is allergic to resemblance. The origin of this extreme diversity results from evolution via reproduction, allowing living beings to adapt to weather, climate, soil conditions, and predators. Reproduction in nature happens with either vegetative or sexual processes. While vegetative propagation is a method of cloning a new individual from growth material like branches, leaves, or root parts, sexual reproduction allows beings to evolve by selecting a balance of favourable genetic characteristics and variations. The diversity of gender expression in plants is all around us. Their reproducing organ – commonly the flower – is often their most distinguishing feature, and responds to a great diversity of gender form variations, accompanied by various attention-seeking behaviours. Some are unisexual and own separate male and female attributes, either on a separate specimen, or with separate male and female flowers on the same plant. Some species are bisexual, also known as simultaneous hermaphroditism, and poses both male and female parts within the same flower. Others are transitionally transgender, also described as sequential hermaphroditism. Such species change their morphological expression from male to female to hermaphrodite, depending on a number of factors like age, time of day, or environmental conditions. The Queer Nature project result is a living collection of items: pressed and dried specimens, illustrations, pictures, and stories. It addresses persons with interests ranging from art, botany and sociology, and especially those curious by the nature of queerness in general.

→ Read more with the essay published in the special issue of archithese on queerness, 07.2020

Podcast, Camden Art Centre, London, 2020