Detrás de la Noche [Behind the Night]

As part of the show Parliament of Plants II at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Featuring in-progress work form the research project Plants_Intelligence: Learning Like a Plant supported by the SNSF and hosted at the Academy or Art and Design Basel FHNW.

This project brings to light the life of plants at night, crisscrossing layers of invisibility to capture (in photography and video) the subtle and often sub-visible relations maintained between plants and other forest beings while in darkness. The aim of the project aim is to render visible the ways in which plants come to know the world and how they use such knowledge to defend their territories. Also, to document how they become co-conspirators poised with huge potential to mobilize together human and non-huma communities in search of collective survival and against unprecedented anthropogenic challenges. The first part of the project took place on the banks of the Tambopata River in Madre de Dios region in the Peruvian Amazon in late 2022. The area is a living seed bank, and a hugely important buffer zone where endangered Amazonia plants and trees are given space and time to thrive. However, during the gold mining rush in Madre de Dios of the last decade, and the desperation of conservation experts, scientists and Indigenous communities trying to mitigate the damage caused by deforestation and mercury poisoning of soils, air and rivers, plant teachers like Bobinzana are again called upon to teach us plant-led remediation and worlding. A second phase will take place in the fall of 2023 in the Colombian Amazon region, in areas where illicit coca plantations and extractive practices threaten the forest. The resulting work will be a new photographic series and an artist film, piercing through the thick nights of the rainforest. 

Project Credits:

This series was poduced at Camino Verde in the Peruvian Amazon during a research trip in September 2022 and supported by Prohelvetia South America, Studio Verde Residency, Amazon Aid and ICEERS.

This exhibition was realised as part of the SNSF project Plant Intelligence: Learning Like a Plant. Drawings by Julia Mensch and wall design by Skala Design, based on concept by Felipe Castelblanco and Plant_Intelligence Team