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Plant Life of the Pacific World is a controversial exhibition of delicate flower and plant forms assembled from collaged photographs of nuclear explosions. In this new work Noronha Feio plays with the relationships between beauty, conflict, the foreign and the domestic.
Each work has been classified in accordance with American botanist E. D. Merrill’s book from which the exhibition takes its name. Originally published for military use in 1945, the book’s dry classification of flora is transformed by Noronha Feio into an explosive revelry of intense, amoebic forms. Plant Life of the Pacific World defuses one of the most recognisable symbols of destruction, horror and power to create a sumptuous taxonomy combining the nuclear mutations of popular fiction, the evolutionary mutations of Darwin’s Galapagos and an imagined botany of Bikini Atoll, whose use as nuclear testing grounds followed the book’s publication.