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Artists give voices to plants in new exhibition at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
Anna Jermolaewa, The Penultimate, 2017. Wood, glass, metal, plastic; drawing (felt-tip pen on paper); vase with fresh flowers. Dimensions variable. Kunsthaus Bregenz Courtesy the artist © 2020, ProLitteris, Zürich.

VADUZ.- Scientists in the twenty-first century use the term ‘Anthropocene’ to describe the realisation that human beings profoundly change the ecology of the Earth. Parliament of Plants takes this insight to offer new ways of talking about the complex interconnections that link everything to everything else.

The artists in this exhibition question not only the Aristotelian position that regarded plants as close to the inorganic world, but also the Anthropocentric view that continues to define much of the Western world, even today. They illustrate principles of nature, give voices to plants from a wide range of different perspectives and testify to the extraordinary qualities of plants. Inextricably linked with our survival, a paradigm shift is taking place in the sciences regarding our understanding of plants.

The exhibition is presented as an open structure. Aspects such as self-organisation, identification, utopias, social relations between flora and human beings and a different perception of time are reflected in the works. Other topics include shame and sexuality, expansion of consciousness and transformation, inner and outer migration, medical, scientific and cosmic knowledge.

Participating artists: Paweł Althamer & Artur Zmijewski, Stefan Bertalan, Andrea Büttner, Edith Dekyndt, Jef Geys, Isabella Hollauf, Anna Jermolaewa, Jochen Lempert, Uriel Orlow, Kristine Oßwald, Athena Vida.

Additionally, ‘cabinets of curiosities’ feature historical botanical books and a selection of films and artworks by John Baldessari, Joseph Beuys, Karl Blossfeldt, Mrs. Brakhan, Matthias Frick, Anton Frommelt, Paul Klee, Emma Kunz, Heinrich Anton Müller, Fritzi Libora-Reif, Rachel Ruysch, Therese Vallent and Sunhild Wollwage as cross-references and to create fields of associations.

Project space ‘Parliament of Plants’
17 July 2020–17 January 2021

As part of the exhibition, the admission-free ‘Seitenlichtsaal’ is conceived as a changing, growing project space. It links the immediate outside world with questions of art and will enable meetings between a wide range of scientific and artistic-poetic approaches to and perspectives on the plant kingdom. Initiatives, associations and protagonists from varied disciplines including botany, floriculture and horticulture, forestry and farming, (landscape) architecture, meteorology and art: all these will testify on their relationship with plants.

Contributions and presentations varying in scope and rhythm capture cyclical processes and demonstrate what is happening in nature now. The latest digital news and a regularly updated ‘leafy’ calendar afford an insight into growth and development in fields, forests and gardens. Dialogic guided tours, workshops and field trips complement and extend this space for encounter.

A production of Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, curated by Christiane Meyer-Stoll with Annett Höland, co-curator of the project space.

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