This work takes as its starting point the human desire for permanence, a desire made acute by the inevitability of our passing. If photography itself is a manifestation of this desire, our attempt to arrest or “still life,” plastic plants and flowers are a low-rent corollary. Suspended mid bloom and scattered throughout graveyards and empty parlors, they offer the promise of perennial youth, an eternal flowering, life ever after. Fake flowers both immortalize and render static the natural world. As such, they articulate a crisis between beauty and horror, desire and loss, artificiality and “the natural.”
In our fall from the “pre” or “no” time of Eden, we have landed squarely in the artificial garden, the stilled remains of paradise. These sights of frozen or no time and the scale, duration and technology that make them possible, work to articulate a world where boundaries between the real and the artificial are increasingly blurred. If, in our contemporary moment, we are experiencing a gradual substitution of the machine for the body/mind, the image for the thing, and the simulation of the environment for the environment itself, then perhaps we are realizing Robert Smithson’s “frozen actuality,” the hallucinatory disjunction where “nothing is known but the impenetrable surfaces,” where “the artificial ingenuity of time allows no return to nature.”
Bioposys are reconstituted artificial flowers and plants, mutant strains, improbable and permanent hybrids. The larger pieces attempt to envision a constellation of flower bombs, offering glimpses into possible futures of plastic and mishap. In others, the crude undersides begin to show through, revealing the cheap materials and human labor that ultimately destroy any illusions of “real.” And they offer more questions than answers; what happens when the “artificial” becomes a stand it for the “real?” When our pursuit of perfection, symmetry, longevity leads to ecological disaster? What is our relationship to “nature” as it mutates, rebels or ceases to exist? And what if we find the mutations themselves desirable? What constitutes beauty in an age of environmental crisis? Is simulation the new preservation? If a “real” plant is a statement from another time, are we already after nature?
-Yedda Morrison, August 2007