The work is grounded in the question of a possible correlation between theory and plants. The critical moment between a bold thesis (ideology/theory) and the actual ramification (growth/non-growth) is the core issue.
During the course of the exhibition several plants are growing on top of a selection of books in a makeshift laboratory. By taking historical relevant literature as a basis, which had an enormous impact on the development of human thinking several groups of reference are defined. Following the (pseudo-scientific) notion that an idea could possibly influence other beings by its mere presence in space the piece ironically asks for the limitations of knowledge. In other words would a plant growing for a certain period of time on top of for example 'The Koran” develop differently than one growing on top of ‘Mao's bible’ or one sitting on Wilhelm Reichs' ‘The Function of the Orgasm’?
Based on the experiment the work speculates on the potential reciprocity between various forms of “ideal” humus and the plants. The installation is part of a long term study of the artist dealing with living test organisms. A series of elaborated drawings and diagrams enlighten the visitors about the process of the research.
Excerpt from the list of the involved books:
(Soeren Kierkegaard: Entweder Oder; Wilhelm Reich: The function of the orgasm; The Koran / The Bible; Sigmund Freud: Die Traumdeutung; Charles Darwin: The creation of species; M.Foucault: Archaeologie des Wissens; Karl R. Popper: Die offene Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde; Arnold Schoenberg: Harmonielehre; Gertrude Stein: Useful knowledge; Walter Benjamin: Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner Reproduzierbarkeit; Friedrich Engels: Die Dialektik der Natur; Susan Sonntag: On photography; Albert Speer: Erinnerungen; ...)
Concept and idea: Nikolaus Gansterer
Book research supported by Stefan Geissler
Year: 2008 - 2009
Materials: plants, lighting, tin foil, books, drawings,...
– 2007, "Science Fictions", Gallery Czarna, Warsaw. Curated by Severin Duenser.
– 2007 "Down to Earth", K12 Galerie, Bregenz & ACF, Krakow
– 2007 "The Lab" / Into Position", Bauernmarkt Studios, Vienna. Curated by Severin Duenser.
– 2008, Error #11:"Into The Light", interventions in and around the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp. Curated by Ria van Landeghem.