“Muzzle of black lama”, “old mended cap”, “heart of child” … Here are some of the three hundred and eighty varieties of ancient potatoes resurrected by Julio Hancco at 4000 meters above sea level, near the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In Marseille, London or Rotterdam, weekend gardeners cultivate their vegetable gardens. In the Far North, thousands of seeds are frozen to save our plant biodiversity. In the forests of Kazakhstan the original apple are still growing. Niki de Saint Phalle, Charles Billy, Josep Pujiula gave shape to their interior gardens. A scientist placed electrodes on a plant to study its self-defense mechanisms. What are these passers-by along the artificial banks of Dubai Creek thinking about? Never were these stories supposed to cross each other; never were certain itineraries ever told. Photographer Mario Del Curto questions: What connects all this? What connects us to that?
To the contemporary concerns about the transformation of our ecosystems and its disastrous consequences on the living, the Swiss artist responds by a powerful photographic narrative, accompanied by critical essays. He thinks of the links that unite us to the plant and, without morality or categories, proposes another look at our environment and its inhabitants. The garden is there seized beyond its actual food or landscape dimension, as a gesture or a composition open to all possibilities. It’s the first visual inquiry, stresses the philosopher Emmanuele Coccia, to reveal the world as a garden, to seize, in short, its nature deeply gardener: shaped by Human, our planet is first shaped by the plants themselves, which feed us, but also influence our lives, our movements, our actions. Some propose to “make garden” inspired by visionary or unnamed gardeners who have punctuated our history. Vandana Shiva urges us to return to the root of the verb vegetare: “Animate, vivify”, to seize all the force of the plant.
Exhibition “Jardins déployés” during the Rencontres d’Arles, from July 1st to September 22nd, 2019.
Simultaneous reissue of Mario Del Curto’s book Les graines du monde.
Mario Del Curto : Humanité Végétale
Size: 21.5 x 30cm / 480 pages / 180 photographs / bound book / 49 €