Désirée Coral Guerra

Seven chapters on botanical trajectories of appropriation and exchange, probing colonial historical narratives and hierarchies to interconnect relationships through their materiality.

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Through Art Practice Research, Pre-Columbian and Colonial botanical domestications and exchanges are explored and contrasted; this research focuses on the botanical trajectories and botanical material trades which resulted from the contact between the Americas and the rest of the world.  

It incorporates epistemological lenses to observe and expose the complications within the hierarchical and invisible power relationships between Humans, humans1, non-humans, landscape, and knowledge. 

An imperative analysis of historical perspectives rooted in colonial narratives and the hierarchical geopolitics embodied and embedded within the materiality of plants is required to comprehend how those models still affect the world we live in today. 

This investigation seeks to unveil the voids of acknowledgement towards cultures and communities. Through art making and thinking through material explorations, this research aims to negotiate different understandings of the importance of generating contextual material knowledge while calling attention to the connections and entanglements within the botanical sphere and the narratives they embody and represent. 

This PhD art practice-based research aims to generate contextual and critical botanical investigations from an interdisciplinary perspective by presenting a series of exhibitions and art publications as case studies and experimental art methodologies.

Names of Supervisors: First Supervisor: Pernille Spence, Second Supervisor: Edward Summerton