Anémochorie Volet 2 2021
Anémochorie 1 addressed the greenhouse cultivation for the industrial production and marketing of cut flowers in the context of capitalism while Anémochorie 2 investigates the use of the nineteenth century botanic gardens as a mean for spreading plants across the world and as a tool for the appropriation of territories for natural studies. The old Jardin Colonial des Plantes (Colonial Botanic Garden) in Saint-Pierre de la Martinique was destroyed by the 1902 Pelée Mountain eruption and is now a thick forest which has been untouched for over a century. The story built from beneath the trees’ roots all the way up to their canopy turns this forest into a new garden. Here nature which once was an object now becomes a subject. I created a dialogue between two acts.
The first one consists in a herbarium widely inspired from the usual method. It consists in approximately 1300 collected plant samples arranged in the Anémochorie publication sheets. Each plant was collected on the site of the old Jardin Colonial des Plantes. These live plants are hidden between the sheets to dry, almost invisible.
The second act consists in a deep search in the garden’s soil. A 4 meter long core sample was drilled in order to bring to light the garden’s history. Here simple earth from the depth of the ground gives an idea of the past time via its successive layers. Present lays above while past lays deep. In between, successively lay the Carib’s era, the Native Americans era, the dark centuries of slavery and domination, the Pelée Mountain eruptions and all these forgotten stories which do not appear in the official History. This piece of earth/history lays horizontally and is equipped with a watering system aimed at fostering the germination of dormant seeds which lingered there for months, years or maybe even centuries. These seeds may be able to express themselves without words across the time layers, showing their incredible resilience and delicacy.