Skip to main content
15. Jun - 28. Jul

Exhibition „Veil of Nature“

10:00 - 17:00

Tartu city | Tartu Ülikooli botaanikaaed

  • Exhibition/museum
  • Main programme
Ticket booth (on location) 5 €

Info

The exhibition „Veil of Nature“ by Luxembourgish artist Justine Blau and curated by Fanny Weinquin, explores man's relationship with nature and conservation practices in response to the current environmental crisis with works navigating between documentation, illusion, and narration.

The exhibition „Veil of Nature“ by Luxembourgish artist Justine Blau, curated by Fanny Weinquin, explores man’s relationship with nature and conservation practices in response to the current environmental crisis with works navigating between documentation, illusion, and narration.

The starting point of this project was the discovery by Justine Blau of the Sicyos villosus, a „cucurbit“ collected by Charles Darwin during his journey on the Beagle in the 1830s, which has now gone extinct. When she read that scientists hoped to recreate the plant using biotechnology and the DNA of the herbarium specimen, she set out to explore what it meant to „bring species back to life“.

As part of Tartu 2024, University of Tartu Botanical Garden welcomes works of art drawn from this research in its greenhouses. Photographs, videos, and sculptures come to stay alongside the plant realm, challenging it by their presence, while at the same time blending into the environment. The show intends to examine some of the nature-culture interplays and dilemmas with works involving magic tricks, preserved soap bubbles and depression gardens made of salt. It also includes documentation of herbaria and seedbanks throughout Europe, as well as real and fictional accounts from the Galápagos Island, where Darwin partly outlined his theory of evolution.

Contemplating the role of the Botanical Garden as a preservation and science place, the exhibition creates a dialogue between art and science, dealing with the roots of natural history, science as a practice and an outlook on the world, as well as concerns with biodiversity and extinction. Using the digitized herbarium version of Sicyos villosus as a substitute, the artist aims to explore the photographic medium’s capacity for reincarnation and remembrance.

The title of the exhibition „Veil of Nature“ is taken from Blau’s eponymous publication, which is being released this year with Berlin-based editor K. Verlag. The title refers to Heraclitus’s famous quote „phusis kruptesthai philei“, usually translated as „nature loves to hide“, of which French philosopher Pierre Hadot (1922-2010) has traced its successive interpretations in his book „The Veil of Isis. An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature“ (2004).

Justine Blau’s book will be launched on the opening day, alongside a panel discussion, involving Estonian and international artists and scientists, contemplating some of the topics addressed in „Veil of Nature“.

Exhibition is part of the Arts of Survival Creative Nature Festival and belongs to the main programme of European Capital

The exhibition “Veil of Nature” is open for viewing at the University of Tartu Botanical Garden from June 16th to July 28th. Entrance with a greenhouse ticket during the opening hours.

The exhibition is supported by Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg, The Ministry of Culture / The Luxembourg Government, City of Tartu, Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

If you want to grab a bite or need a place to stay, see what the Tartu 2024 hospitality network offers in the area: https://tartu2024.ee/recommendations-tartucity

Organiser

Tartu Ülikooli loodusmuuseum ja botaanikaaed

Location

Lai 38, Tartu, Tartu maakond, Eesti

Other dates

View more

View all