Porcelain botanical plates,
editions of 72, signed and numbered. Gold edging, 10" diameter.
Cost: $200 ea. plus shipping
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Porcelain plates and handsome prints of botanical specimens adorn the well-mannered house, signifying both knowledge of nature and a naming of nature. Far from folk wisdom, a complex quest is reified through these wall decorations, to synthesize symbolism, mythology, knowledge, and identification (taxonomy).
A bourgeois way of “speaking,” as the Victorians considered communicating through flowers (dürch die Blumen sprechen).
From Zoroastrians to modern elf-hunters, people have sought communication with the divine, through ritual consumption of plants. Smoked, eaten, and sniffed, these plants provide transport to worlds beyond the mundane, into the enormous grid of the imagination. Journeys bring back messages, diagnoses, prophecies, horror and assurance, all of which is transformed into language: babbled, spoken, recounted, and narrativized. It is ultimately these stories and instructions that offer us a place in a universe greater than ourselves, and give us ground through which to experience the imaginary that we name The World.
Sola dosis facit venenum.
(Only dose makes the poison)
– Paracelsus (Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim), 1493-1541
Peganum harmala and Acacia seyal