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About Giants, Gaia Dresses and Anti-Symbiosis
A conversation by Herbert Kopp-Oberstebrink

The art of Diana Scherer (*1971) makes the invisible visible and in the process reverses the grown orders of above and below. For example, she shows roots resting on a bale of earth at the top, while blades of grass lie at the bottom. Initially, she is intensively concerned with the material aspects of art. Over the last ten years, her preferred materials have been various types of grass, mostly oats, maize or wheat, earth, water and plastics. With the help of science, Scherer researches the growth and growing conditions of grasses and cultivates them in greenhouses. Cultivation – in its old sense of cultivation and care – does not mean allowing, but rather disciplining and shaping. Scherer also demonstrates this and thus takes us back to the beginning of human culture and civilisation. But what has grown naturally and cultivated is only one domain of her art. She goes one step further and reminds us that our dissecting-curious gaze presupposes a rupture, a damage, be it of the grown form (grass field), be it of the cultural form (vases) – a killing of the natural. Scherer’s artistic practice follows an aesthetic of interaction, and this in several respects: the interaction of natural growth processes and human interventions, of natural and culturally shaped materials, of natural forms and art forms, of art and scientific material research, botanical expertise, horticultural practice.

The elements of this interaction enter into tense relationships that communicate themselves to the viewer in disparate artistic formations of fragile beauty. Scherer’s works are thus characterised by the combination of the delicacy of green grasses and fine roots with the coarseness of artificially generated stencils, by the interplay of shaping and shattering as well as by the simultaneity of a sober scientific-prosaic gaze and poetic imagination. Her artistic beginnings lie in photography. She studied art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, where she also lives and works. In 2022 Diana Scherer will be a participant in the 23rd Biennale of Sydney.

https://www.kunstforum.de/artikel/diana-scherer/