food, sustainability and art projects in Europe

Herbarium – Parco Arte Vivente with artists Andrea Caretto / Raffaella Spagna

Thursday 24 June 2021, at 6 pm, the PAV Parco Arte Vivente presents PAV_Herbarium, a new installation by Andrea Caretto / Raffaella Spagna, which is added to Village Green, the permanent collection of works in the park.

The installation is configured as a space created ad hoc to catalog and preserve the botanical species collected through collective practices conducted by the artists since the start of the PAV project and, since then, constantly updated.

The process of cataloging pioneer plants started with Colonizzazione 01, collective action of life and work in an interstitial space (2006), continues in chronological order with Back & Forward_Colonization 02, collective action of life and work in a space of resistance (2013), both workshops conducted by artists. To create, over time, a reasoned selection of the constituent materials of the herbarium, the collection of botanical varieties continues, always in the form of participatory workshops conducted by Caretto and Spagna, with other important stages. Like the creation of the installation Libera Scuola del Giardino – born in 2015 with the participation of myvillages / Wapke Feenstra – a vegetable garden where medicinal and aromatic herbs are grown to be transformed into numbered preparations and art multiples, and again with Epiderma ( 2016) and Herbarium (2018), yet another collective collection of plant species present in the park.

Within the space dedicated to PAV_Herbarium, the public of the PAV will have access to 50 plant samples selected from the numerous species of spontaneous plants present in the park, along with books for consultation and a collection of natural materials, objects and small sculptures. In addition to the species on display, the installation also includes a digital herbarium to fully deepen the knowledge of the species cataloged up to now.

The collection of plants, pressed and dried, is organized respecting the classification methods and the classical codes of the botanical nomenclature. Each species is identified by its Latin scientific name. But is it enough to know the name of a plant to be able to say that you know it? The act of naming is a way to discern and give identity to the plant Other, but in itself it is not sufficient to embrace the complexity of the world of plants.

A galaxy of transversal meanings expands the rigid classification grid of the herbarium to include information that refers to formal similarities and analogical associations, but also to mutualistic symbiosis with other species, ethnobotanical uses, etc .; knowledge that will be deposited over time on the sheets of the 50 botanical tables and in the digital archive, through a collective process of building knowledge that will enrich the contents of the installation over time.

Its structure is conceived as an organism in growth and transformation, designed to accommodate laboratory and training activities, but also small temporary exhibitions of other artists whose research intersects with the exploration of the plant world.

The environment of the exhibition space was designed by the architect Emanuele Cavallo, who applied a reed thermal insulation and coated the surfaces with a raw earth plaster in order to create the microclimate suitable for the conservation of natural samples.

The work is an important formalisation of the historical and naturalistic research carried out by the PAV, with the aim of becoming part of the common heritage of the community, the subject of continuous study and analysis.