Hortus Botanicus
Work.In.Progress

Ever since mankind humans have had to urge to travel, to discover what is referred to as "exotic". However, as long as humans have had a longing to trek, there also has been a constant need to build a home; a settled fixed and intimate life with shelter and security. Hereby we notice a contradiction: a desire to discover the new and a desire to settle with the old. Two sides of man in continues battle, yet always interconnected.

Romanticism almost paradigmatically thematizes this paradox, whereby both human desires became central motives. Romantic writers of the late 18th and early 19th century described the sublime as an aesthetic experience that was build from an emerging force of unbound and overwhelming nature. This romantic unease about nature is something that has reappeared in a modern version against machines, the emergence of technological art has brought the sublime back into the experience of contemporary art.

Inspired by the opposing elements of romanticism and the return of the sublime in the digital era, the artist made use of the botanical garden as a symbol for "contemporary nomadism". While living in Leyden, a small Dutch town with a botanical garden, Hortus Botanicus - which dates back to the 16th century and was thereby the first in its kind - she came in touch with the history of this institute. While it might appear that the botanical garden stands in the presence of the beginnings of modern science, the collection of data and the patient, detailed observation of causes and effects. And even though this is the direction into which the garden has ultimately grown today, the reference to modern science does not describe the motivation with which it all began. The great age of the botanical garden followed the discovery of the new world. Contemporaries interpreted the foundation of the botanical garden in a context of the re-creation of the earthly Paradise.

Because the creation of a paradise is a process that requires patience, the artist emphasized on the use of time by making what could be referred to as "flux photographs". She purposely experimented with photographic chemicals allowing developing and fixating liquids to fight a constant battle. The course of time is recorded in the photographs by making what is visible not a limitation to what is seen, but forming a guide to something that stretches beyond the image towards infinity. The very light that made the photographic image emerge has also made it disappear. The viewer is invited to think of photography not in terms of an image, but structurally, it is about considering the materiality of an image - process, production, entropic forces - and acknowledging that everything we create is an active ingredient in the photograph's hold on the present. The result is an art work that constantly adjusts and re-adjusts to the new surroundings - just like human beings do in their search for they might call a home.