Plant Exchange
2007 - 2010

Plan Exchange is a project inspired on stories about plant hunting by plant collectors. In the Nineteenth century plant collectors, commissioned by botanical gardens or for example in their position as a missionary, travelled in areas little knows to Westerners.

For this project I chose the opposite landscape: cities. With a plant in a greenhouse I wandered through the streets, a traveller who exchanges plants.
I go from door to door, visit different cultures in living rooms and try to move as many plants as possible from one house to the other. Plant Exchange brings a 'stranger' in people's home.

In 2007 the project was realized for the first time in Amsterdam with 174 different nationalities in this former trade city. The next year the project was part of the Biennale in Sinop, a city situated on the most northern edge of the Turkish side of the Black Sea. In 2010 the project was continued on the island Curaçao, a former Dutch colony.

The greenhouse is inspired on a Wardian Case: a portable propagation container that was invented in 1829 to protect plants from the salty water during the transport 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 outside of a church.

During my travel I documented as less as possible, leaving almost no trace, to focus on the moment of the meeting. The moving of the plants is marked on a map by using color codes.

Images & tekst catalogus: Sinop Biennial 2008 (PDF)



Plant Exchange/ Willemstad, Curaçao 2010
Artist-in-residence at Instituto Buena Bista
Support: Fonds BKVB

Plant Exchange/ Amsterdam, 2007
Exhibition: Conlang
presented by Performance Lab




Plant Exchange/ Sinop, Turkey 2008
Exhibition: Sinop Biennial
Support: The European Cultural Foundation: ECF