meadow

Meadow rescues Rosa Luxemburg’s herbarium from oblivion, which is stored at the Central Archives of Modern Records in Warsaw. The archive comprises seventeen identical school notebooks containing an amateur herbarium, and one additional notebook devoted to the classification of plants and minerals. Each page of the herbarium, created between 1913 and 1918 – mainly during the activist’s frequent incarcerations in Wrocław, the Wronki Fortress and Berlin, among other locations – features a plant specimen or its part alongside a German or Latin name, place of origin and the date it was collected or received. Legend has it that the herbarium, with margins containing notes with no direct relation to botanic descriptions, could also function as an alternative record in cipher of Luxemburg’s political philosophy. Bringing her herbarium closer to viewers, Orski concentrates on highlighting its formal characteristics: plant and paper textures, handwritten notes and drawings with which Luxemburg supplemented missing parts of plants. The artist also seeks to decipher the political dimension of the activist’s herbarium.