Forum Gallery, Zagreb 2015
Environmental city-specific installation / photographs, texts, video, objects, plants and public city walk in collaboration with urban activist Saša Šimpraga
The exhibition “Futurobotany” was inspired by the urban wilderness, the unstructured greenery within the city, and more accurately and interestingly, the lesser known species, the often invasive, self-sown and recalcitrant plants that appear in the odd nooks and crannies of the city that have been forgotten or are faced with urban transformation. On the floor of the gallery, under the black soil which covered it completely, a ground plan of the city-centre was indicated – characteristic locations were marked in white self-adhesive letters, visible on the spots where the soil was removed. The Plexiglas-cubes with soil and invasive plants within the gallery space also referred to specific location, buildings, flora and their future visions of depicted locations.
Placing the emphasis on the plants, playing with the special-temporal matrixes within the exhibition format and drawing the visitor into the process of discovering different layers of such setup, was an attempt to destabilise the anthropocentric position of the observer/city-dweller. The exhibition took visitors into a phytocentric and somewhat dystopian vision of the city, shaped in the form of a gallery installation, with fragments of the display sending them back to check things out, on real locations. As part of the exhibition and the described agenda, a structured conceptual public walk was organised. The focus was put on the upcoming urban transformation of the depicted city-area which is at heart – a physical centre of the city (a stripe along the railways of the central train-station), a devastated and neglected, but highly speculative property and subject to controversial deals between city authorities, individuals and investors. A parallel layer of the walk put a focus on floral species which appear in such neglected urban areas, as a metaphor of the battle field where continuous struggles between different protagonists of urban reality take place.
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