Botany of Desire

Various Artists

Ned Dodington | Dixie Freind Gay | Jasmyne Graybill | Julia Mclain | Divya Murthy | Melanie Schlossberg

Michael Pollan in his book "Botany of Desire" (published in 2002) suggests that while we think that humans are in control of passive plants, it may be that plants are controlling us, manipulating our passins in coded ways designed to insure their evolutionary success. The relationship of humans and plants are complex and go beyond shelter, food and clothing. He uses the example of the apple as satisfying our desire for sweetness, tulips for beauty, the cannabis plant for psychotropic desires and the potato plant as a symbol for power guarenteering an abundant and easy to grow food supply. The artists in the exhibition feel a strong affinity to the existential mysteries of plant life. The ravishing attraction of the field of tulips or the "agricultural Sublime" of a neat row of potato plants may seduce artists to do the plant's bidding. They may identify with the role of intelligent plant and create works from the perspective of the plant envisioning a symbiosis of nature and culture. In return, they may be given insights into the crucible of beauty.