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Anne Duk Hee Jordan: “The Living Plant Archive – All My Hands Ar Labour” (Goethe Institut)

2 July 2021 - 30 August 2021


The Korea born and Berlin based artist Anne Duk Hee Jordan is a visionary that creates machines which mirror, extend, or convert biological processes and chemical reactions between living organisms and dead matter. In her latest five year long project (2020-2024) she approaches colonial histories and remaining colonialism through manifold forms of perceptions of the senses in the Dutch context.
This exceptional exhibition outlines the possibility of trans-material archiving, functioning at the intersection of design research, landscape architecture, visual arts, ecologies, food, and postcolonial thinking.

In the public installation The Living Plant Archive – All My Hands Are Labor, brought to life through workshops, performances, and convivia, Anne Duk Hee Jordan continues her practice of approaching colonial histories and residual colonialism from the perspective of five plants: nutmeg, cloves, tea, pepper, and cinnamon. The migration and trade of these plants and spices have played a central role in the growth of the Dutch economy since the seventeenth century, when the Dutch East Indies Company and the West India Company established trading posts in the Dutch East Indies, Japan, the Caribbean area, South and North America, the West African coast, and South Africa.
The lucrative trade in those spices in the so-called Dutch Golden Age was based on the exploitation of both vegetable resources and human labour.

To help narrating this piece of history, in the center of Arnhem a former parking lot was transformed into an open landscape with a living plant archive. The process of building The Living Plant Archive approaches a heterogeneous assemblage of taste and sensory material that refers to the historical and current context.
Researcher and curator Pauline Doutreluingne elaborates the contents of the archive in a project that tries to outline the possibility for transmaterial archiving. Using a non-linear organizational logic, scents, plants, texts, edibles, textile sculptures, plant stories, workshops and sonic interventions are presented in a living archive that will blow your senses away.

You can read more about the artist, the exhibition and her other numerous projects on her website, and on the event page of the Goethe Institut Niederlande – who is among the supporters of this initiative. The outdoor archive will be open to the public until the end of August 2021.


2 July 2021
30 August 2021
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Collection De.Groen
Weverstraat 40
Arnhem, Netherlands


Goethe-Institut Amsterdam
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