Mariëlle Videler

Plant Exchange

With a plant in a greenhouse on wheels I wandered through the streets of Sinop. For the duration of the three days I was a tradesman who exchanged plants, looking for the form and meaning of plants in different cultures and living rooms. In 2007 the project was realized in Amsterdam, Holland, a city, which had in that year 174 different nationalities.

The greenhouse is inspired by a Wardian Case: a portable propagation container that was invented in 1829 to transport plants on ships to Europe. The bars, which at each side pierce through the greenhouse, refer to a reliquary: a container that is used to transport a relic.

By using a form, with categories like scientists use to classify nature, and a Polaroid camera I made an inventory of each plant at its original home. I also created a map that marked the movement of the plants. The mix of personal and scientific information travelled with the plant to his new owner.

Art is my way of creating models for life: situations. It’s the perishability I prefer, that’s why in the course of years I concentrated more and more on temporary works and life art. I create situations, temporary actions in a given, chosen or created space in which rituals, cultivated or instinctive behaviour and the active participation of others play an important role.