Tall firs, dense mangroves, bizarre flower pistils – the plant world produces unique forms. Integrated into complex and highly sensitive ecosystems, plants are intertwined with human culture in many ways. Their contemplation can be calming, thought-provoking or trigger strong feelings of trepidation and fear. In photography, plants have been popular objects of photographic processes and experiments since the beginning of the 19th century. The exhibition “Grünzeug. Plants in Contemporary Photography”, on view at the Berlinische Galerie from 12 October 2023, takes up this multifaceted theme. It presents contemporary works mainly from the Photographic Collection that negotiate the often ambivalent relationship between people and plants in the medium of photography.
Six artistic positions
Falk Haberkorn (1974, Berlin) plays with the contradictions between romanticised veneration and the forest threatened by environmental influences and economic interests. He describes his working method as a “visual interrogation” of the “supposedly vivid”. The enigmatic nature of the image “Schonung” triggers emotions and also evokes memories of fairy tales and legends of Western cultures. …
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Abb. oben: Folkwang-Auriga Verlag, Unbekannter Fotografin, Papaveraceae. Papaver somniferum, Gartenmohn, Samenkapsel, um 1930, © Rechtsnachfolge unbekannt, Repro: Anja Elisabeth Witte