The exhibition at the VI PER gallery in Prague explores the power of trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs as being a source of inspiration and share stories about their more-than-human knowledge.

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

The exhibition consists of three chapters:

Secret Life of Plants deals with an infinite variety of shapes, colours, textures and smells of plants. The origin of this extreme diversity is the result of evolution through sexual reproduction, allowing plants 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. Those exact copies do not, however, generate new genetic material, exposing identical generations to the risk of being entirely wiped out by diseases. 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 – together with botanical gardens – 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.