Lovesick Violet, The Common Box and the Unclassified

Inspired by the painting the Hermit Monkey (1840 – 1845) by Leonardo Alenza situated at the Museo del Romanticismo in Madrid, the works the Lovesick Violet, the Common Box and Unclassified and Shuffled complement one another and serve as a ground to sketch thoughts and observations about the classification of plants and animals.

The Lovesick Violet is based on Erasmus Darwin’s ‘Botanic Garden: The Loves of the Plants’, a poem with philosophical notes (1791). Darwin’s poem is a rendering of Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae. The Lovesick Violet, as an interpretation of Darwin’s poem, points the viewer towards the emotional states that are attributed to the plants in this poem.

The Lovesick Violet, Installation view, Here Together Now, Matadero Madrid, 2013

The ‘commonbox’ (Buxus sempervirens) is an evergreen plant that is widely used in private and public gardens, urban spaces and also in botanical gardens. Its commonplace occurance is also what grants the plant a certain degree of invisibility. The plant is used in framing, dividing, partitioning, hiding and also defining borders. The common box is used in the Botanical Garden in Madrid as a border around the flowerbeds. Within the area defined by the common box lies a fully controlled, labeled, classified and curated area of plants. In the exhibition space ‘Buxus sempervirens’ is used in constructing a rectangular, empty frame.

The Common Box, Installation view, Here Together Now, Matadero Madrid, 2013

Unclassified and Shuffled is an attempt to gather all images, including paintings, drawings, prints and watercolours, with any kind of animal representation dated 1750 -­‐1900. The image compilation is from collections in Madrid, which are either public or private, but that the public can currently access to. Over 700 images are collected from the archives and online databases. These are: Museo Nacional Del Prado, Museo del Romanticismo, Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Museo Thyssen-­‐ Bornemisza in Madrid. The collected images are shuffled and presented in 3 volumes, bound in cow leather.

Unclassified and Shuffled, Installation view, Here Together Now, Matadero Madrid, 2013