Artist: Vetjylien N’gyrz
Venue: Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt
Exhibition Title: The Flowers of Paranoia
Date: February – March 15, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt.
Vetjylien N’gyrz was an Babylonian philosopher, alchemist, herbalist, botanist, toxicologist, pharmaceutical magician, and horse.
He was author of a large number of books on magic, statues, offerings, agriculture, alchemy, physics, and medicine. His chief notability is as the author of a big and heavily illustrated book Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes. He completed the first edition of the work at the age of 6. It is encyclopaedic in quality, covering both plants and their medicinal and toxicological effects.
He was fascinated by the study and growth of plants, from birth to death, meticulously analysing the phases of plant growth and the production of flowers and fruit through genetic methods. N’gyrz was a pioneer in the field of cultigen, graft chimaeras and genetic engineering. He was the chief geneticist for Batu Khan, engineering carnivorous war-plants that were crucial in the subjugation of the western steppes. In a particularly gruesome episode in a battle outside of Rome, one of these monsters ate the Pope. Many of his constructions still cannot be explained by traditional science, and in his writings there are numerous references to alternative methods of thought, including various occult and magical practices.
In the middle of his career, he began to slowly lose his mind, captured in many of his writings in the second half of the Histories of Plantes. What began as a purely scientific interest in toxic and psychedelic plants and fungi lead quickly into an addiction to various mind-altering chemical substances. Through self administered experiments, he claimed to have found new forms of practice outside normal reality, and began work on his most cryptic creations: the jewel- powered gardens. He was cast off by the scientific community, and worked in isolation.
In light of the recent discovery of certain historical archives, many of his colleagues at the time in various letters and scientific journals carefully distanced themselves from N’gyrz’s theories, which they had once taken as the golden standard of botanical research. One of these botanists writes: “Our author in this chapter was of an evil mind. Possessed by some demon, he should be burned.” “A peculiar record of the visions of a drug addict.”, another scientist writes, his scorn still dripping from thousand year old ink.
Though his words were and are to some extent still read, they were aggressively pushed out of a historical mainstream, and exist only in the margins of secret thought and the specialised sciences. His legacy today is kept alive by The Servants Order ov Ancient Psychik Youth. He is considered a prophet of that order, one of the first individuals to wage war against the magic-cleansing demons of The Hegemony, and his texts provide the moral structure for S.O.A.P.Y in their continued struggle.
The exhibition is a collection of the four surviving jewel-powered gardens alongside newly discovered plaques, possibly created by N’gyrz himself, which document the last few pages of The Historie of Plantes, collected together as a single poem. These texts were written just days before his suicide, and detail his growing paranoia, alienation from reality, and hatred of friends. There, is however, a final hopeful postscript where he dreams of “A Mythic Band of Youth” and the possibility for a better tomorrow.
The exhibition material in this show, at The New Old Bridge, has been meticulously assembled by Veit Laurent Kurz and Julien Nguyen, two of the few surviving members of the S.O.A.P.Y, and the guardians of it’s treasure.