Herbarium Vivum

Herbarium Vivum is a site specific installation by Driessens & Verstappen.

In Herbarium Vivum by Driessens & Verstappen different crop plants are growing in an extremely limited space: inside a frame that is almost 2-dimensional. In this way, the plants will finally resemble their own representation in herbaria and botanical illustrations.

Plant scientists study the adaptive capacities of plants under extreme conditions, as happens when new crop varieties are developed (that tolerate drought or that flourish at salinated soil, for instance). How far can you take this? Driessens & Verstappen found inspiration for their project in the Herbarium, where the shape of plants is manipulated by flattening them, and where the uniform categorization highlights their differences. In Herbarium Vivum the artists do the same with ten living crops: hemp, mustard, cucumber, corn, borage, marrowfat, poppy, tomato, tobacco and potato. They made frames where the plants have to develop themselves into an almost two-dimensional growth form. The question arises whether the plants in the living herbarium will start to resemble their own representations in herbaria and botanical illustrations, as a result of manipulating the growth process.

Herbarium Vivum was developed for the exhibition (Re)Source (2013) at the Belmonte Arboretum in Wageningen, commissioned by Beelden op de Berg Foundation. In 2014 Herbarium Vivum has been installed at Verbeke Foundation, Kemzeke, Belgium. In 2015 it was installed at Zone2Source in the Amstelpark in Amsterdam. In the Summer of 2018 Herbarium Vivum is part of V2_'s 3x3, and is shown behind the window on the groundfloor of V2_, facing the Eendrachtsstraat in Rotterdam.

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