German artist Maximilian Prüfer’s profound creations delve into the anthropocene's human influence on nature and spotlight its global implications. His work primarily focuses on the interconnection of three spheres: nature, animals, and humans, emphasising humanity's inherent ties to nature despite our modern detachment.
Prüfer's art addresses an array of ecological concerns,including bee extinction and its severe threat to biodiversity, largely stemming from consequential political actions in China during the mid-20th century. His "Fruits of Labour" exhibition provides a stark depiction of the human effort required to offset biodiversity loss.
Prüfer's journeys to China’s Sichuan province unveiled a startling reality - a valley devoid of insects and birds, where manual pollination was the only means of fruit tree propagation. This ecological imbalance, a tragic consequence of the "Great Leap Forward" campaign initiated by Mao Zedong, led to failed harvests and widespread starvation. Its effects persist to this day.
Showcased in the "Fruits of Labour" exhibition are Prüfer’s photographic works, "Performance - Hand Pollination" and "From Flower to Flower". These pieces serve as an ode to human adaptability, highlighting our capacity to fill in for pollinators like bees in the delicate process of fruit tree pollination.