Histoire Des Plantes
How to relate this place, the contemporary Jussieu neighborhood of Versailles, to the distant world that the botanist Bernard de Jussieu observed, back in the 18th century, as he compiled his opus magnum, the “History of plants that are born in the outskirts of Paris, and their uses in medicine”?
Between then and now, centuries of troublesome history have scrambled concepts of origins, indigeneity, belonging, in both the human and natural world. Colonization, globalization, mass migration, scattered seeds and lives up and down the globe….
That which grows here today, relates little with what the namesake of this place catalogued, back in 1725.
In my mural, different and unrelated but equally revered plants, with powerful medicinal properties, each from a different continent, display their power, and forge a new, hybrid common root. A merging of medicines.
This place is home for all, we all belong, we all have a reason to be here, let’s move forward in mutual solidarity. Perhaps the medicine for history is an intentional and strong unity rebuilt through consciousness of history, with full respect of our diversity, forging a new common root, planting itself firmly in the here and now, leaving those chimeric golden ages behind.