The Horror Garden (2018)
The Horror Garden is an investigative performance and/or installation about the relationship between humans and plants, which questions a number of important issues. Do people treat plants with enough respect? Do plants feel recognized and understood by people? Can the relationship between people and plants transcend the unlimited mutual exploitation? What can we learn about ourselves if we consider plants as the significant order and what kind of horror can this lead to? What happens when plants break out of the background of our living rooms?
When searching for an anwer to these questions, Vervloessem calls on a number of horror movies in which plants frighten us. Sometimes they attack us head-on, but often the horror lies in ominously waving branches and rustling bushes. Colonization runs like a red thread through the story: colonization of territory by humans and plants, colonization of organisms, bodies and spirits… According to Vervloessem there are three locations where the human-vegetal relation comes to a climax, where the relation between humans and plants takes a stark form: the nature reserve, the plantation and the botanical garden. Places with a direct link to a colonial past. Places in which the relationship between people and plants seems tightly aligned. At least it seems. But, is that also the case?