The protection of our planet’s biodiversity is one of the most pressing concerns facing human society today. Seeds of Resistance responds to these growing concerns by drawing attention to the long history of plant and human co-evolution and interdependence. The form of the seed plays a critical role in this project: seeds are encoded with their own unique genetic history, but also preserve human cultural heritage and values. In this dual sense, the smallest seed is a vast archive of information. But with the loss of seed varieties the world over, humanity also stands to lose knowledge of itself—the rich cultural diversity of the past, as well as the hopeful prosperity of future generations.
Drawing together different global perspectives, the exhibition also takes firm root in the soils of Michigan State University. The important work around issues of ecological preservation by faculty, researchers, and students at the university is a significant feature. Further, Seeds of Resistance intentionally builds upon the legacy of one of MSU’s most revered faculty members, Dr. William J. Beal (1833–1924), who initiated what is now the longest ongoing scientific experiment in modern history, entitled the Beal Seed Viability Experiment.
Many of the artists in this exhibition are also educators, their artistic practices encompassing work in the studio, the field, and the classroom. Through their work, they plant their own seeds of resistance in the forms of ideas for alternative ways of existing that honor the sacredness of all living things. The exhibition thus connects local histories and an international roster of artists all working towards a similar end: through learning and the ability to imagine better, more sustainable futures, we can begin to create real change, together.
Artists: Antonio Ballester Moreno, Mel Chin, Beatriz Cortez, Dornith Doherty, Johannes Heldén, Håkan Jonson, Dylan Miner, Santiago Montoya, Claire Pentecost, Vivien Sansour and the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, Jackie Sumell, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, Sam Van Aken
Seeds of Resistance is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Steven L. Bridges, Associate Curator. Lead funding for this exhibition is provided by the MSU Federal Credit Union with additional support from the Eli and Edythe Broad endowed exhibitions fund.