The Parliament of Plants and other Cautionary Tales.

Where Stories Make Worlds and Worlds Make Stories

Ethel Baraona and Céline Baumann for Solitude Journal

Turn now, beloved, your eyes to these blooming and colourful multitudes,
See how, perplexing no longer, they stir there in view of your soul!
Every plant announces, to you now, the laws eternal,
Every flower louder and louder is speaking with you.

—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

In the midst of the European lockdown, »when the economic, political, environmental, and social climate often make us feel that the world is falling apart, curator Ethel Baraona Pohl and landscape architect Céline Baumann wrote each other messages in which they address the notion of collaboration and what it means to »care with« instead of to »care for.«

By revisiting Céline’s work Parliament of Plants and the exhibition Twelve Cautionary Urban Tales at Matadero Madrid that Ethel curated, they argue that through observing the botanical world and its phenomena, we can learn a lot about interdependency, mesh networks, and contamination as tools to commonly inhabit and care with the world.

This is an email correspondence commissioned for the first Solitude Journal, with the theme Collective Care & Response-ability, featuring artistic works and writings in which the political, social and ethical dimensions of care and concern between humans, non-humans, other species and the material world converge. The contributions gathered here are not intended so much to provide a historical or cultural-scientific overview of the concept of care as they are to unite a close observation of the current (crisis-related) state of affairs and the voices of fellows on alternative narratives and modes of action that consolidate the common good or our planetary well-being.

Title: The Parliament of Plants and other Cautionary Tales. Where Stories Make Worlds and Worlds Make Stories

Languages: English

Date: July 2020

Publishers: Akademie Schloss Solitude

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