Anne Duk Hee Jordan
zur nachahmung empfohlen! examples to follow!
Uferhallen Berlin-Wedding
12 May – 16 Jul, 2023


With THE LIVING PLANT ARCHIVE (2020 – ongoing) Anne Duk Hee Jordan approaches colonial histories and remaining coloniality through the perspective of plant protagonists.

The work zooms in on the migration and trade of plants and spices, which have been central for the growth of the European economy starting off from approximately 1600.

The process of building up THE LIVING PLANT ARCHIVE approximates a heterogeneous assembly of various material referring to the historical and present context. An example is the Punkawallah, which is a servant fanning his master with a handheld fan in colonial British India. The artist customized those fans in bright neon colours with FLISCO Batik, another interesting storyline of colonial strategies, travelling  cheap textile products from Indonesia, via the African coast towards the Netherlands.

The project attempts to outline the possibility of trans-material archiving, functioning at the intersection of nature, food, design and postcolonial thinking.
In the Age of the European exploration colours and spices were only available for the rich western people. The merchants scoped out the planet for evermore-exquisite smells, perfumes, textiles and tastes and grabbed everything and everyone for the lucrative business around those products.

Through a non-linear organizational logic, scents, plants, texts, edibles, textile sculptures such as Punkawallahs, plant stories with a wink of a wunderkammer are being presented in this living archive. The stories and agency of the plants guide the narration and allow for new story lines to erupt.

The video work Diasporae (2021), made in collaboration with Pauline Doutreluingne, explores a non-European perspective on species migration and the botany of desire. The main protagonist is the fragrant nutmeg spice and its environment, such as the nutmeg pigeon, tropical rainforests, the Dutch VOC, trade explorers, colonial narrations, exoticism, the legends around the spices, and the exploitation going along with the lucrative colonial economic system. Diasporae merges fantastical tales exploring botanical reproduction, time lapses, herbal seduction, seed dispersals and plant migration.

Text: Pauline Doutreluingne