In Domicile: Against the Fallacy of Exoticism | Karl Hurst

Longbarrow Blog

Karl Hurst, from the series In Domicile (2020)

Many people would consider that they know the English landscape like the back of their hand, and that it remains, at its crux, unwavering. Many believe they hold its constituent parts as a truism, its wayside flowers, its arable crops, its domesticity. Yet, as I hope to show in this short essay, this surety is often predicated on ideas of conquest, elitism, and a disregard of history.

The dandelion is no less exotic than the rhododendron, yet the latter is treated with reverence, the former disdain. The line between feral and cultivated is often a blurred one, co-dependent on time or cultural norms. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than with the rise of botanical culture in Victorian England. The need to dissect, name, classify, and manage species is often at the heart of our understanding of nature. Yet what are considered…

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