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Event details of CROSS-POLLINATIONS: Art and the Petunia Collection
Start date
31 March 2023
End date
13 April 2023
BG 3

This spring, the petunia collection trades the greenhouses of Science Park for the historical city centre of Amsterdam, at the heart of the humanities campus. For two weeks, VOX-POP will house the collection of petunias, becoming a space for reflection on cross-pollinations. Borrowed from botany, the term cross-pollination refers to the scientific practice of transferring pollen from the flower of one plant to another, as well as to an interchange of knowledge and ideas.

CROSS-POLLINATIONS uses artistic research to explore the porous boundaries between the humanities and natural sciences, between discourse and matter, and between plant and human worlds. How can we understand the Petunia collection and its surrounding research practices as living heritage, albeit tangible or intangible? What are the merits and challenges of making scientific research on plant life transparent, visible and accessible to the general public? And how are plants and humans in the Petunia collection entangled in processes of making meaning?  

  • The digital platform 

In addition to the living plants, the collection houses thousands of seeds, as well as watercolours and photographic reproductions of petunia flowers and plants made between the 1960s and 1990s. This wealth of archival material is representative of and rooted in Amsterdam’s rich history of flower commerce and botanical science. The digital platform is custom-made for the open-source archiving of this living heritage. On the platform you can interact and play with the collection’s photographic and watercolour reproductions. The digital platform will be launched at the opening of the exhibition on Thursday 30 March.   

  • The exhibition  

The exhibition at VOX-POP showcases artworks from artist Christian Herren and botanical sketches on loan from the UB special collections. In addition, screens and ‘listening booths’ allow you to see and hear researchers speak about their scientific work while surrounded by blooming petunia plants. Through an iPad, you can access the digital platform as integral part of the exhibition, playing with its interactive digital tool and watching recordings of the lectures given during the public programme. 

  • The public programme  

The exhibition will be accompanied by a rich public program: panel talks, public lectures, guided tours of the Science Park greenhouses and the Artis library, as well as botanical drawing workshops. All events will be free of charge and open to the public. We hope to see you at the opening on Thursday 30 March 2023! 

What you need to know: 

  • What? Exhibition CROSS-POLLINATIONS: Art and the Petunia Collection 
  • When? Friday 31 March – Thursday 13 April 2023*
  • Opening times: 10.00- 17.00 hrs on workdays
  • Where? VOX-POP, Binnengasthuisstraat 9 (BG3), Amsterdam 

*Please note that VOX-POP will be closed on Friday 7 April (Good Friday) and Monday 10 April (Easter)

Join us for the festive opening on Thursday the 30th of March!

BG 3

Binnengasthuisstraat 9
1012 ZA Amsterdam