Plants in contemporary photography

Falk Haberkorn, Schonung #2, Aus der 4-teiligen Serie "Schonung", 2003/04

Falk Haberkorn, Schonung #2, Aus der 4-teiligen Serie "Schonung", 2003/04

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Lofty firs, dense mangroves, bizarre pistils – the shapes created by the plant world are prodigious. Embedded within their own complex, highly sensitive ecosystems, plants intertwine with human culture in many different ways. Contemplating them can soothe the nerves, give food for thought and trigger powerful emotions such as fear or anxiety.

The exhibition “Greenery: Plants in contemporary photography” responds to this multi-faceted theme. These contemporary works mostly from our Photography Collection address the often contradictory relationship between humans and plants through the medium of photography. The six photographers and artists do not focus here on vegetation in its wild and untamed state, but on how it has been overlaid by human activity: carefully stacked deadwood in Germany’s Black Forest, mangrove swamps contaminated by plastic in Indonesia, botanical cultures in the tropics. These depictions dig down to the cultural inventions underlying apparently archetypal notions. They open up avenues to revisit the shifting relationships between humans and plants.


Falk Haberkorn (*1974 Berlin)
Ingar Krauss (*1965 Berlin)
Susanne Kriemann (*1972 Erlangen)
Mimi Cherono Ng‘ok (*1983 Nairobi, Kenya)
Stefanie Seufert (*1969 Göttingen)
Auriga/Folkwang-Archiv featured by Andrzej Steinbach (*1983 Czarnkow, Poland)