Single-channel video (2022), no sound, duration: 42:00 minutes

In the work Plant Stress (SPF 50), the cultural gesture of applying factor 50 sunscreen to protect the skin is transferred to various plants. Recorded exclusively in the ultraviolet light spectrum, the work represents this act as a metaphor for a helplessness of humans in interacting with natural processes, when they are imperceptible to the human senses.

The title of the work refers to the term Plant Stress, which is used in science to describe the impact of substances that can disturb the growth of plants. Plant Stress can be caused by various factors of environmental pollution, especially UV radiation.

For the creation of this work, technology was used that makes it possible to visualize the plants in UV light, or more precisely, to view the UV light reflected by the plants. However, the sunscreen applied in the video absorbs the UV light and appears black. The application causes the various flowers and leaves to gradually fade over the course of the scenes, thus disappearing for the viewer.

Created during an artist residency at Glenkeen Garden (Crespo Foundation Frankfurt a.M.) in West Cork, Ireland.
Special thanks to Dr. Marcel Jansen, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University College Cork, Ireland (UCC Cork).

More Information: The Glenkeen Variations: Disquieting Frequencies (Crespo Foundation x Goethe Institut), Goethe-Institut Dublin, Exhibition: Moritz Fehr and Marcus Maeder ↗︎

Plant Stress (SPF 50), Installation view, Goethe Institut Dublin, 2024
Plant Stress (SPF 50), 2022, Videostills