Rooted Resurgence

2023 — ongoing

Mixed Media, UV Print on Acrylic Glass, 128x170cm

Special Mention in Re:Touch. Expanded Surfaces in Smartphone Photography, metaLAB Harvard & FU Berlin

Ever since the first orangeries and botanical gardens came into fashion in the Baroque era, plants have been brought to Europe en masse and systematically from tropical regions. Greenhouses and terrariums were developed specifically for their displacement and preservation in the European climate.  These interventions have changed the respective ecosystems irreversibly.

To this day, colonial botany is as determinative of the globalized plantation economy as it is of the exoticization and fetishization of plants, whether in the palm house or the living room.

Rooted Resurgence emerged from a critical engagement with the collection of the Palermo Botanical Gardens. Palermo was one of the largest ports for the transatlantic enslavement trade in early modern Europe.

Today, taking biological material from the once displaced plant collections is prohibited. Vanessa A. Opoku responds by taking pointcloud scans of various plants via smartphone and transforming them into 3D objects. In virtual space, she creates new connections and combinations, adding a story of transformation to the plants and their history of violence.

Text: Lina Brion
Exhibition view EIGEN+ART Lab
Credits: Peter Oliver Wolff

Rooted Resurgence I, II
Exhibition view Rooted Ressurgence I: Dotgain


© 2024 Vanessa Opoku. All rights reserved.