Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Archetype - 1
  • Rohini Devasher
    born 1978
    born: New Delhi, India ; active: India
  • Archetype - 1, 2007
  • Where object was made: India
  • archival pigment ink print with hand coloring
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 259 x 112 cm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 102 x 44 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 272 x 112 cm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 107 1/16 x 44 1/8 in
  • Museum purchase: R. Charles and Mary Margaret Clevenger Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2017.0148
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World", 27-Mar-2018
Devasher’s imaginings of hybrid life forms in her series of Archetypes (botanical hybrids) and Chimeras (animal, plant, mechanical hybrids) suggest future beings whose genetic origins are obscure but whose organic details are strangely familiar. In these fusions of synthetic life and bio-engineering, Devasher allows us to fast forward to potential outcomes of our rapidly expanding bio-technological capabilities and reflect on their implications. She places her work in dialogue with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 1790 publication The Metamorphosis of Plants, in which Goethe discusses his significant theories about plant morphology. Devasher summarizes Goethe’s thinking as a search for the archetypal plant, “one basic form that manifests in the multitude of single plant individuals; and within this basic form, there lies the potential for endless transformation, by which manifoldness is created out of oneness.” Devasher further explores this concept through her artwork.