Botanical portrait of unwanted plants
In the summer of 2015-16 we collected and dry a vast variety of weeds from the sub-urban Copenhagen.
“Weeds may be ubiquitous, but hunting down the quantity and variety for this artwork in urban and sub-urban Copenhagen was no easy feat … it required “thinking” like one of them. Weeds are ingenious shape-shifters; outlaws of the concrete jungle. They thrive off human activity – in newly disturbed landscapes and on nutrient-poor substrates. Yet in our manicured city centers these tenacious characters are far from welcome. Weeds are popularly seen as unwanted, valueless and troublesome plants, and the war against them is a strong one. So it was in the exploration of neglected spaces, wastelands and the wilder fringes of the city that they were found. Voracious nettles springing up in the unkept corner of Solbjerg Kirkegård, bloodred poppies blooming beside an abandoned factory, beach-rose clinging to the water’s edge under Sjællandsbroen. One summer’s morning a colony of giant burdock growing along the train-track between Enghave and Sydhavn was hacked down by an army of men in fluorescent jackets. It seemed the municipality triumphed … but the weeds will come again next year; the weeds always win.”
Pio Diaz Weeds. Mixed weeds packed and frame from urban-sub urban Copenhagen. Dimentions H 190cm W 145cm
Pio Diaz words on Weeds:
I have always been attracted to weeds. I remember collecting them at a very early age at my grandfather’s farm in Gualeguaychú walking through Paraná delta. The place is wild heaven. Poison plants, poison frogs, alligators, huge boas capable of swallowing a cow, snakes, tomcats are just a few of the dangerous inhabitants in the Paraná Delta. I remember walking with my young cousins trough the uncertain forest, the oldest who was about 11, was carrying a rifle for protection. Nature still is certainly a hostile environment to man and man made constructions in the Delta.
Weeds and their wild uncontained clash of nature-culture reveals that forced fragility of manmade ruled landscape. We constantly sophisticate the laws in which we inhabit our personal and social spaces. We are in essence nature but coexist in the laws of culture. We scape nature with culture but nature is always right there after us in a fitness race for evolution. We mirror in nature but behave in culture. The more we understand culture the better rewarded our social cognitive skills are, So we do not only fight nature but we fight the nature in ourselves.