This exhibition at the Betonsalon Art Center in Paris tries to address the socio-economic, cultural and political implications behind the worldwide circulation of tropical plants since the 16th century.
Through anthropologists Arjun Appadurai and Igor Kopytoff’s concepts of “social life” of things or “cultural biography” of objects, Tropicomania shows the implications of the expansions of tropical products from the local to the global scale.
Artworks, scientific illustrations, maps, films are showed to address “the interrelation between science, exoticism and commerce, and the power relations engendered by this very alliance.”
Colonial garden, 1910s – expedition of plantation in “Wardian cases”, intended for the gardens of experimentation of Bingerville (Ivory Coast), Sor (Senegal), Papetee (Tahiti). © Historical library of the Cirad
Mark Dion, “Iceberg and Palm Trees”, 2007, teddy bear, tar, plastic plant, straps, aluminium box, wooden crate, 330 x 170 x 100 cm, unique piece. Courtesy : In Situ Fabienne Leclerc gallery, Paris, photograph : Rebecca Fanuele
Otobong Nkanga, “Contained Measures of land”, 2008, volcanic sand, cactus, grass, wood and metal plaques, 500cm x 230 x 50 cm, Courtesy : Otobong Nkanga
Lois Weinberger, “Prayer Book”, 1976, folded tobacco leaves from my grandfather, Courtesy : Lois Weinberger
Lois Weinberger, “Untitled”, 2003, Ventilator, wire, wood, metal, bean husk 123 x 45 x 32 cm, Courtesy : Lois Weinberger
Marie Preston, “Table servie” , 2009-2010, Enamelled terra-cotta, brioche, fruits, vegetables and wood, Courtesy : Marie Preston
Claire Pentecost, “Intensive farming with plastic greenhouse effect near the sea”, Almeria, Spain, 2005, photograph. Courtesy : Claire Pentecost
Yo-Yo Gonthier, “extract of carnet leporello”, 2012, Courtesy : Yo-Yo Gonthier