Opening Reception & Artist Talk - The Arboretum
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Saturday, February 23; 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Opening Reception & Artist Talk

Located in Arboretum Library

About This Event

Found Among the Leaves; a Bibliophytology 

February 22, 2019 -May 28, 2019

Andrew S. Yang

Opening Reception & Artist Talk 

February 23, 2019, 2-4pm 

A Most Fruitful Analogy: Fantastical Roots of Botanical Form

The study for botany in the European tradition is deeply rooted in analogy as a method of understanding. From the “Doctrine of Signatures” of ancient Greece onward to Carl Linneaus’ penchant for mapping plant morphology onto animal anatomy, analogy continues to be a powerful and precocious technique for uncovering the meanings manifest in plant form. Books and have been central to this endeavor—as the means by which morphological knowledge was recorded and communicated, and indeed as an integral part the botanical world in itself. This talk will explore these themes in connection with the exhibition Found Among the Leaves; a Bibliophytology.


Among the Leaves; a Bibliophytology

The history of botany (phytology) is the history of books twofold: Not only have books been the unparalleled and enduring medium for botanical study across the centuries, but plants have also served as the has the physical basis of books. Any book about plants is therefore also a book of plants in its most basic sense; between the unfurling leaves of a plant and unfolding leaves of a book, drawn are a myriad of connections to be revealed.

Found Among the Leaves; a Bibliophytology is an exploration of the rich and complex relationships that entangle object with information, image with medium. The LA County Arboretum’s library serves as both the project’s exhibition venue and its source material. Through works of collage, assemblage, painting, and objects from the Arboretum’s own collections, the exhibition will unfold as an aesthetic manifestation of the library itself: Trees made of books, flowers from scientific journals, bark as paper…. As the natural and cultural histories of plants and people as ecological companions continue to branch, how might they grow? At a time when the intimacy of printed matter is giving way to the ubiquity of digitalization, what do we make of the relationship between the book and the plant? Let’s look among the leaves.

Andrew Yang is a Chicago-based transdisciplinary artist who works with flux of the naturalcultural. His projects have been exhibited from Oklahoma to Yokohama, including the14th Istanbul Biennial, the MCA Chicago, and the Spencer Museum of Art. His writings appear in LeonardoArt JournalGastronomica, and Biological Theory, among others. With a PhD in biology and MFA in visual art, he is an associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History.


Free with Arboretum Admission

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