“Muzzle of black llama”, “old damaged hat”, “child’s heart”… Here are some of the three hundred and eighty varieties of old potatoes resuscitated by Julio Hancco at an altitude of 4,000 meters, near the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In Marseille, London or Rotterdam, Sunday gardeners cultivate their vegetable gardens. In the far north, thousands of seeds are frozen to save our plant biodiversity. In the forests of Kazakhstan still grows the original apple. Niki de Saint Phalle, Charles Billy, Josep Pujiula give shape to their interior gardens. A scientist places electrodes on a plant to study its self-defense mechanisms. What do these passers-by along the artificial banks of Dubai Creek dream of? These stories were never meant to intersect; never were certain routes even to be told. Photographer Mario Del Curto asks: What connects all of this? What connects us to this?
To contemporary concerns about the transformation of our ecosystems and its disastrous consequences on life, the Swiss artist answers with a powerful photographic story, accompanied by critical essays. He reflects on the links that unite us to plants and, without morals or categories, offers another look at our environment and its inhabitants. The garden is seen beyond its strictly food or landscape value, as a gesture or a composition open to all possibilities. It is the first visual investigation, underlines the philosopher Emmanuele Coccia, to reveal the world as a garden, to grasp, in short, its deeply garden nature: shaped by Human, our planet is above all fashioned by the plants themselves, which nourish us, but also influence our lives, our movements, our actions. Some suggest “gardening” by taking inspiration from visionary or unnamed gardeners who have marked our history. Vandana Shiva urges us to return to the root of the verb vegetare: “to animate, to vivify”, to seize all the strength of the vegetable.
Mario Del Curto : Humanité végétale
Published by Actes Sud
Format : 21.5 x 30 cm / 490 pages / 400 photographs / 49 €
Release date 2 octobre 2019