Exhibition: Jun 29 - Aug 22, 2021

Planted in the Body


Artists: Nikola Brabcová (CZ), Alexandra Cihanská Machová (SK), Laura Huertas Millán (CO), Suzanne Husky (FR/USA), Saodat Ismailova (UZ), Emily Kame Kngwarreye (AU), Uriel Orlow (CH/UK), Solange Pessoa (BR), Luiza Prado de O. Martins (BR), Corinne Silva (UK), Adéla Součková (CZ)

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The group show Planted in the Body looks at soil, plants and their products – such as oils and pigments – as sources and carriers of knowledge, and explores how their unique heritage has been transmitted through the centuries.

The works in the show recognise the agency of vegetation for its own sake, in its proper universe, away from human intervention and domination. Plants came before us and will probably survive us too. We have embedded ourselves in nature, more than the reverse. Yet, in this embedding, plants have also become crucial witnesses to human history, reflecting local, regional and global power games, and political and social divides, both in natural environments and manmade landscapes. Exploring plants and transmission places us in a liminal space where different forms of existence and knowledge interpenetrate.

The show highlights the role of matrilineal and ancestral chains in preserving and passing down to younger generations teachings from nature that touch on the realms of remedies, spirituality, ecological care, survival skills, food practices, gardening, coping mechanisms after trauma, political memories and conflicts. There are multiple dissemination processes, from verbal and nonverbal communication to tales, songs, orality, embodied practices, cooperative forms of actions, hands-on approaches and sensing the environment. Whether living in forests, plains or deserts as nomads, or being in touch with vegetation in orchards, gardens and parks, we all experience a certain link to plants. They are part of us, but their knowledge is not always considered in proportion to their value, and fluctuates with time, culture and geography. Heritage chains are vulnerable and often at risk, including the threat of disappearance and censorship. History provides many examples of the interruption of transmission chains, from rulers who regard the knowledge of healers and herbalists as sorcery, and ecosystems being threatened by anthropogenic destruction, to younger generations losing their connection to the land, its nonhuman inhabitants and their ancestors. We need to care for such links, for it is along these paths that plants certainly teach us about themselves, but mostly about ourselves.

 At its core, the show endorses the notion of ‘plantcestors’, considering that the non-linear knowledge channelled through vegetation can also be internally accessed, without intermediaries, through the intimate bonds that we, as living entities, have established with the natural world, from seeds to leaves, bark, flowers and fruits. In a way, the know-how bestowed by flora is planted in our bodies, as a gift that our intuition allows us to reach. Common resources are our best teachers, and our strongest allies, in ensuring ecological balance. This explains the importance of indigenous knowledge and cosmogonies in learning how to receive messages from the vegetal, animal, mineral, spiritual and ancestral worlds, and to live in harmony with them, even if these voices have been lost, discriminated against or otherwise silenced through imperial, colonial and capitalist domination. In this respect, many of the works featured in the show adopt ethnobotanical ethics and envision regenerative practices for landscapes, soils and bodies, thereby reconnecting us to our common inheritance.

Permeating the works are notions of fertility and seasonal cycles that connect us to abundance and decay – present in all of us – and lead us to question our own relationship to transmission patterns. If plants are vessels, then we should act as recipients of their heritage and learn how to integrate and embody it. Plants enable us to decolonise our ways of learning, preserving and passing down. The works included in Planted in the Body address all these issues, looking both into our common kinship and into the future. Listening to botanical knowledge invites us to embrace responsible ways of acting, being and resisting that are relevant to our contaminated and deregulated times.



  • Jun 29 - Aug 22, 2021


  • MeetFactory
  • Prague, Czech Republic