URSULA SCHULZ-DORNBURG
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DEUTSCH

Where traditional species die out, mankind loses parts of its history and culture.

The pictures of ears of corn were taken at the Vavilov Institute in St. Petersburg; a gene bank for wheat where more then 66.000 different types of wheat are catalogued and filed. The arrangement of the installation resembles a gallery of ancestral portraits, in which each kind of wheat can be read as a part of cultural history where man made use of this plant. The individual diversity of wheat thus becomes a mirror of different cultures, epochs or climatic conditions.
The metaphor of wheat however, also acts as a sign for the transformation and the development of nature, as it is found, up to its cultivation, from wild grasses to cultivated plants. Selected and bred, determined by supply and demand, only those species were "genetically" cultivated in the course of time which provided the greatest economic benefit in global competition. Analogously to this, progress – as the title expresses – demands its casualties. The Installation of Ursula Schulz-Dornburg documents the contradiction between scientific investigation of traditional multitude, and its reduction in favor of profitable hybrid wheat, and thus also points to the complexity of human actions in the context of man-society-environment.

 

Alexandra Kolossa.



exhibition catalogue: Natural Reality, Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, 1999



© Ursula Schulz-Dornburg.


© Ursula Schulz-Dornburg