"Late in life he wrote that Nature has no system, but that ‘she is the transition from an unknown centre to a limit which is not discernible,’ and that ‘Natural System’ is thus a contradiction in terms."”
- Agnes Arber, Goethe’s Botany: The Metamorphosis of Plants
LC Queisser is pleased to present Double Flower, a solo exhibition of new works by Berlin-based artist Keto Logua.
Logua’s inter-disciplinary practice investigates visual forms of systematized knowledge. Logua’s works seek out moments where human technology and the technology of nature blur into one another,
undermining assumed boundaries between the objective and the subjective, the scientific and artistic, the natural and the manmade.
In Double Flower, Logua presents 5 metal inlay floral diagrams across the four rooms of the gallery. Each diagram depicts a rose at a different stage of expressing the double flower mutation. Cultivated in
floriculture for millennia, this mutation causes the reproductive organs of the flower to instead grow as petals. This creates a much fuller flower, what may appear as a flower within a flower. While all species of wild rose have 5 petals and many sex organs, the double flower rose has significantly more petals and no sex organs. Alongside diagrams of the wild rose and the full double flower, Logua shows three interstitial, semi-double, roses, containing varying ratios of petals to organs.
While the designs of Logua’s diagrams are her own, the system used to create them emulates a floral
diagram technique that originated with botanist August Wilhelm Eichler in the 19th century. Different parts of the flower are represented by different symbols. The symbols are composed so as to represent the internal system of the flower. The diagrammatic technology proposes itself as chiefly informative, as descriptive of an objective system discovered through observation. Yet it is still an image. System
collapses into image, and back again. By rendering her flowers in elaborate metal inlay, a technique
classically used in the decorative arts, Logua’s works emphasize the aesthetic dimension of these
Alongside the diagrams, Logua presents a sculpture of 3D printed vertebrae on top of cinderblocks used for construction. The vertebrae is strange, reminiscent of a real bone but the shape is almost fantastical. Rather than a scan from a bone found in the world, this vertebrae is a composite form, a combination of different stegosaurus fossils that has been rendered digitally. While it’s forms come from real vertebrae, it is as much a product of imagination as it is a product of research. Set atop a cinderblock, an essential unit in construction, this imaginary composite vertebrae takes on implications of the built world.
Across Double Flower there is a tension between constructed systems that allow us to intervene in our environment and all the complexity that escapes these systems. From genetic selection to models of nonexistent bones, Goethe’s thoughts on natural systems reverberate; facing the vastness of what we do not know, our systems cannot be thought to be complete, if they are not complete, then what are they? Logua’s works meditate on this question, reflecting back on themselves through image and form.
Courtesy of the artist and LC Queisser