La Casa Encendida (Madrid) and Wellcome Collection (London) present Un Encuentro Vegetal  (A Vegetal Encounter), an exhibition that explores our symbiotic relationship with plants as shown through the work of Patricia Domínguez (1984, Santiago de Chile), Ingela Ihrman (1985, Kalmar, Sweden) and Eduardo Navarro (1979, Buenos Aires). Conceived as a dialogue, it shows the Works of these three artists as they deconstruct the omnipresent artificial wall there is between human beings and nature, the wall that is devastating our ecosystems, our life and our health. Curated by  Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz.


The plant world represents 85% of life and it sustains all living organisms on the planet thanks to photosynthesis. It is worth remembering that by means of this process plants convert inorganic substances like carbon and water into organic ones—carbohydrates—and they also release the oxygen for animals to breathe. Plants are sensitive beings. They bond with the elements and the living forms that surround them. Rooted in the ground, but constantly evolving, plants are able to construct alternative anatomies to survive and flourish. They breath, sense, feed and reproduce through their entire organism. They have memory, they communicate with each other, they create symbiotic communities and they influence the planet's climate. Contrary to our common perception, plants have transformed humans more than we have transformed them. And surely the key to our prosperity and survival lies in them.

Our fellow plants left the water and colonized the mainland 450 million years ago. Homo sapiens emerged 300,000 years ago and today humans represent only 0.01 percent of the Earth's biomass. Though we as humans are also creatures of the earth (“human,” from the Latin humus: earth), we have cut off our ties with earth and nature, regulating them as resources while denying the vital and fragile ties that connect all human and non-human life. The exhibition Un Encuentro Vegetal, and the three new artist commissions, will reimagine our relationship with plants and highlight their significance and agency.” Said Rodríguez Muñoz.


Patricia Domínguez presents five futuristic totem figures containing ethnobotanical reproductions from Wellcome Collection (London) and the Museo de America (Madrid), and pieces from South America and Europe owned by the Real Jardín Botánico and the Real Academia de La Historia (Madrid). She thus gives voice to the narratives of violence and healing incarnated by the material displayed.

Ingela Ihrman's silent installation of corporeal algae A great seaweed day refers to her convalescence period by the seashore and thus suggests links between her intestinal flora and that of the oceans.

Eduardo Navarro's expansive and contemplative drawings use biodegradable envelopes containing tree seeds. At the end of the exhibition, the seeds will be returned to nature and, in contact with the land, they will activate reconnecting us with the holistic humus. Written in collaboration with philosopher Michael Marder, Navarro's performative instructions—encouraging us to imagine how a plant would respond—invite us to embark on a new path to vegetal enlightenment.

Until September 19th

La Casa Encendida

Ronda de Valencia, 2

28012 Madrid

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