EXPO: In Search of the Garden of Pursuits
10 Oct-26 FebThis activity is included in the day ticket. This day ticket gives you access to all public areas of the Botanic garden.
Within the peaceful Meise Botanic Garden, it seems improbable that 150 years ago discovering new plant species was a discipline comparable to gold-digging, in terms of both profitability and danger. Yet, the life of Benedikt Roezl (1824 - 1885) proved exactly that. From a small town in the territory of modern-day Czechia moving on to Belgium and South America, this immensely influential explorer was a giant of his generation, having recorded several hundred new plant species, but has since been lost to time.
Until Rudolf Samohejl, a Czech artist living in Belgium, stumbled across Roezl’s statue at Charles’ Square in Prague. As Rudolf’s work focuses on the theme of public memory, the large statue of a widely-unknown man at this incredibly prestigious site caught his attention. He conducted artistic research spanning several years, followed by a journey from Czechia to Belgium to Colombia, just as Roezl did, documenting the places where Roezl wrote botanical history. These places, just like Roezl’s statue, seem to have been wiped clean of any traces of his presence. But... have they?
The exhibition “In Search of the Garden of Pursuits” tackles the theme of the resilience of memory, and invites us to examine the connection between the historical outline of Roezl’s life and discipline and Rudolf Samohejl’s contemporary interpretation of Roezl’s legacy.