Julián Chams


Espécimen Raro # 3 (edición 1/5)






56 x 44 cm


Permanent ink print on paper

Through the appropriation of botanical cataloguing language used by José Celestino Mutis during the Royal Botanical Expedition of the 18th century to Nueva Granada, Julián Chams created a series of digital photo montages which explore the contemporary flora of the Colombian Caribbean. Unlike the illustrations by Mutis, Chams not only focuses on plants, but also on the detritus of the humans that now live alongside  nature. In Espécimen raro #3, the artist presents a photo montage which juxtaposes images of a banana plant seen from various perspectives with other elements, like a sack of soil, bones and flowers from other species. The composition makes it seem as though these superimposed elements are hanging from a tree or a large plant, thus constituting a new species. The shallow depth of field makes these elements stand out, and despite its vibrant colours, the work is reminiscent of the work of German photographer Karl Blossfeldt presented in his photobooks – Urformen der Kunst (Art Forms in Plants) in 1929 and Wundergarten der Natur (Magic Garden of Nature) in 1932. In these works Blossfeldt presents natural specimens on a neutral background, seen as never seen before. In Espécimen raro #3, Chams brings together elements from both Mutis and Blossfeldt to reflect on the technological, ecological and sociopolitical changes of our times.