On July 2, 2023, Marres will open the exhibition Plantiarchy, in which the house will be transformed into a world where plants reign supreme. In the exhibition, the world is literally turned into complete disorder, with an enormous forest that grows upside down in all of the rooms. The two floors of the house reveal the double life that plants lead (above and below ground). 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? This imaginative exhibition visualizes a world in which plants are as active and impactful as humans.
The exhibition communicates in a concrete, tangible, and sensual way, welcoming visitors into a world in which plants call the shots and define the space. Worlds that are not normally visible, such as the secret underground life of plants, are made visible, accessible, and experienceable. Plantiarchy combines utopian activism with fairy-tale reality. Visitors are invited to see themselves as part of rather than separate from their natural environment.
Plantiarchy is the first project by 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 can mean beyond the confines of the individual. Sunflower Soup believes in shared authorship and wants to explore the extent to which radical collaboration is applicable in the visual arts. In doing so, the collective is driven by a number of questions: Can a shared way of working contribute to a less detached experience of art? How do people relate to each other and to the non-human world? How can we reconcile the importance of activism with a poetic visual language that also allows for humor and ambiguity?
Sunflower Soup calls on everyone to help build this kingdom of plants. It is what makes Plantiarchy so special: A newly created reality shaped by many different hands.
Starting in March 2023, weekly workshops will be hosted by experts in which participants will learn how to turn paper pulp into plants. These workshops are open to people of all ages.
The workshops will be held at Marres, the community center, the allotment garden or at school. An expert from Marres will explain how plants around the site interact with each other, with other creatures, and with their environment. Participants will then create leaves and plants from paper pulp. During this process, questions will be asked about plant life, nature, and climate to further shape the idea behind Plantiarchy.
If you are interested in contributing to the exhibition, send an e-mail to email@example.com to register your group.
Please indicate your preferred week and location (e.g. on site or at Marres). Marres will contact you to arrange a date. (Workshop duration is max. 2 hours.)