DES HERBES FOLLES
Exhibition curator: Viktoria Von den Brüggen (PhD in art history, independent curator)
From 03/01/2021 to 14/03/2021
With Elise Alloin / Stefan Auf der Maur / Marie Paule Bilger / Thomas Georg Blank & Işik Kaya / Mariann Blaser / Camille Brès / François Génot / Mathilde Caylou / Emmanuel Henninger / Anne Immelé / Melody Seiwert
They often go unnoticed, yet they are omnipresent. Of prodigious vitality, wild plants thrive without human intervention in the most diverse habitats. They also differ from cultivated plants by their high degree of adaptation to the most changing environmental conditions. If in the prairies grasses, herbs and wild flowers enchant us with their rich colors and shapes, their scents and their subtle movements, the great resilience of these living organisms is particularly evident in an urban context.
These grasses, commonly referred to as “weeds”, are generally resourceful. They are most often collective beings that wander, feed, reproduce and flourish, in the most surprising ways, in all kinds of microcosms. To quote the American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What is a weed but a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered”(1). What could be more relevant than the expression “mad grasses” to designate these living beings, because “mad” immediately refers to meanings as varied as “animated by irregular movements”, or “wild”, in other words, not dominated by man.
This exhibition at CEAAC presents, in the context of the 21st edition of the Regionale, a range of artistic approaches based on the biological potential and poetic expressiveness of this vegetation, which are closely linked to themes reflecting the complex relationships between man and his environment: the endangerment and massive destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity, the disruption of landscapes, but also a vision of nature as a protective retreat and the foundation of physiological well-being.
(1) “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. “In: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, Cambridge,Riverside, 1879, p. 3.