Drosera I and II, 2019, photographs taken of 19th-century microscope slides, archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, 152.5 x 122 cm / 60 x 48 inches each
“I care more about Drosera than the origin of species. It is a wonderful plant or rather a most sagacious animal. I will stick up for Drosera to the day of my death.” Thus wrote Charles Darwin to his friend Asa Gray in 1860, soon after he had observed several Droseras of the Droseraceae family on a marshland in England. Darwin was primarily fascinated by the peculiar adaptability of the plant. He realised that in low nitrogen environments Drosera gained nitrogen, which was vital for its growth, from captured insects. The analysis of Drosera and other carnivorous plants was instrumental in spreading the theory of evolution, yet it still questions the limits of compulsive systemic classification and probes the scientific dogmas about plants. The leaf becoming a trap along with the special movement, planning and behaviour of carnivorous plants opened a path to the notion of “plant thinking” created by the philosopher Michael Marder. The thesis of plant thinking enables the exploration of the paradoxes of arbitrary human exceptionality, namely it extends the validity of capacity from the orientation of human to non-human existence. It challenges the idea that humans possess an exclusive capacity of thought and allows us to recognize the capacity of non-human organisms to think. It advocates for an inclusive view of the thinking that takes into account the diverse forms of thinking that can be found in the natural world.
Drosera I, 2019, archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, detail
Drosera II, 2019, archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, detail