04 Jul 2023 — 03 Sep 2023

Plantiarchy

Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

During the exhibition Plantiarchy, the house of Marres was transformed into a world where plants reign supreme. 

In the exhibition, the world was literally turned into complete disorder, with an enormous forest that grew upside down throughout all of the rooms. The two floors of the house revealed the double life that plants lead (above and below ground). In an imaginative way, it is made experienceable that plants are at least as active and defining earth dwellers as humans.

Also on view was the (pseudo) scientific documentary The Plantiarchy, which reveals the history, present and future of a fictional, invasive plant species.

The exhibition was developed by the newly formed artist collective Sunflower Soup, which opposes the idea that humans dominate nature as independently functioning beings. The collective connects activism and levity by working with imaginative reversals. What would happen if plants were in charge? What would the world look like? What new forms of cooperation and consciousness would occur?

Plantiarchy combined utopian activism with fairy-tale reality. The exhibition communicates in a concrete, tangible, and playful way, welcoming you into a world in which plants call the shots and define the space.

About the participating artists

The Plantiarchy project is the first project of the artist collective Sunflower Soup, which was founded in 2021. The collective was born out of a shared activist interest and the need to explore what art practice can mean beyond the confines of the individual. 

Inspired by nature, the Sunflower Soup collective considers itself a biotope, in which behaviors, ideas and feelings are so intertwined that they are barely distinguishable. Sunflower Soup consists of five members at its core, but the exhibition was created through the collaboration of a wide range of people: students, elders, climate activists, nature experts, people living in poverty, volunteers, hobbyists and refugees. More than 1,000 people collaborated on this newly created reality. Together they invite us to see the plant world in a different light. At the same time, they are a protest against the individualistic way the art world functions. In the Plantiarchy, everyone is a maker and no one is the boss. 

Sunflower Soup (Photo: Rob van Hoorn)

Plantiarchy Finissage
Pick-up Day 3 September

Marres organised a Plantiarchy Pick-up Day on Sunday, September 3. At the finissage, creators and interested parties were invited to pick up papier maché plants, flowers or branches.

🌱 Plantiarchy finissage
Sunday, September 3
Makers: 03:00-04:00PM
Interested parties: 04:00-05:00PM

Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

Podcast ‘Sensing Art, Training the Body’

‘A breathtaking exhibition that takes you into a wondrous world where plants reign. Plantiarchy is an enchanting installation that fills an entire building, combined with an immersive three-part film.

This exhibition is not only a visuel treat, but also an experience that inspires you to think about our relationship with the natural world.’

– Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds

Atelier room & workshops

Due to the success of the pulp workshops, you could still join Plantiarchy when visiting the exhibition. In a specially equipped studio room, anyone could use paper pulp to make their own leaf, flower or branch.

You could sign up a group for a workshop making plants out of paper pulp, intended for all kinds of groups and all ages. The workshops were held at Marres, but also at the community center, the allotment garden or at school. With an expert from Marres, plants around the site were viewed, explaining how they work together, with each other, with other creatures and with their environment. Then leaves and plants were shaped with paper pulp. During that process, questions were asked about plant life, nature and climate to further shape the idea behind Plantiarchy. 

Exhibition Overview

Show more
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Rob van Hoorn
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Show more
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Rob van Hoorn
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Rob van Hoorn
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Plantiarchy - Marres
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Photo: Rob van Hoorn
Photo: Rob van Hoorn
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

Press

For press requests, imagery and interview requests, please contact Julie Cordewener: julie.cordewener@marres.org.

Thanks to

Plantiarchy is made possible by Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, Iona Stichting and Stichting Stokroos.