VI PER

The exhibition at the architecture gallery VI PER in Prague opens a post-anthropocene space and challenges the belief that matter and intelligence should be dissociated, regarding flora as more than a mere commodity.

Location Prague, Czech Republic
Client VI PER Gallery
Time frame 2019
Size 500 m2
Photography SCB & Jiří Thýn

Celebrating the diversity of the vegetable kingdom is celebrating the diversity of shapes, gender, sexes, and colours around us. The exhibition explores the power of trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs as being a source of inspiration and embraces the notion that plants are our oldest teachers and share stories about their more-than-human knowledge. The exhibition is structured in three chapters: Secret Life of Plants, Manufactured Botany, and Third Landscape.

Secret Life of Plants deals with evolution through sexual reproduction, allowing flora to adapt to changing weather, soil conditions, or predators. Such a range of possibilities can thus be framed as queer, in reference to minorities that detach themselves from binary gender conduct.

Manufactured Botany focuses on contemporary horticultural production, which is realized through vegetative propagation, cloning growth material, like branches, leaves, or root parts. Our houseplants, purchased in the garden centres of Prague or elsewhere in Europe, are mostly cultivated on a massive scale within automated glasshouses. Today, they form a Tower of Babel in reverse, bringing into the same space plants from all parts of the globe.

Third Landscape presents a somehow different and more independent flora, which has established itself in the city. It is the vegetation of spontaneous plants growing near settlements and paths, having learnt to coexist with people. They survive in complicated conditions thanks to extremely effective breeding strategies, often having to overcome mechanical destruction or other pitfalls of human activity.