The Ecological Implications of Spiritual Gestures: Work with Pollen by Wolfgang Laib

  • Silvia BattistaEmail author


This chapter looks at Wolfgang Laib’s work with pollen that is analysed by looking at his painstaking collection of material from the wildflowers and bushes that grow in the fields near his home, together with the strategies and processes used to present the same material in gallery spaces. Karen Barad’s theory of agential realism is applied to make sense of the micro movements and alterations occurring within and around Laib’s method of collecting the material. This is followed by the analysis and interpretation of the same gesture and its ecological implications from the perspective of Buddhist and Jainist spiritual belief systems that have greatly influenced Laib’s artistic language. On the other hand, Laib’s creative method of presenting pollen in gallery spaces plays with practices of separation to convey the special qualities that the material itself acquires in cultural contexts. Here, the analysis focuses on destabilising the idea of the artist as the only agent of his artistic products, to recognise the performative quality and agency of the material itself.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Drama, Dance and Performance StudiesLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK

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