Title of publication: Stubborn Cactus
Name of artist: Delphine Bedel
Design: Delphine Bedel
Editor: Delphine Bedel
Series name: Spiegelrefleksies
Press: Extrapool / Knust
Publication date: 2015
Place of publication: Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Edition size: 70 copies, signed and numbered
Size: 21 x 29 cm
Number of pages: 10, unbound
Type of printing: Black and White Risoprint
Type of paper: cardboard and rough paper
Name of printer: Extrapool / Knust
Number of pictures: 10
Price: £25 – €35
Description of book: ‘Stubborn Cactus’ is the new photobook by Delphine Bedel. For one year, she documented with her iPhone the botanical garden of the VU University in Amsterdam, that was planned to be destroyed in June 2014, once the collection sold. This academic garden was a part of the Biology Department. It host a unique collection of 10.000 plants and the largest collection of cactuses and succulent plants in the Netherlands, as well as centuries old bonsais. Initiating various activities to bring attention to this situation together with a group of people, now the garden and its collection will be preserved for another 8 years.
The title was inspired by some of the cactuses quietly growing for the last 50 years around the metal architecture of glass houses.
Playing with both codes of photography and plant preservation, high and lo-fi, in this edition Delphine Bedel purposefully uses all the technical flows of digital and analog medias. She transforms her vernacular high-fi colour snapshots into black and white, flat pressed plant specimens on cardboard, to be stored indefinitely as a record of the flora, a statement on the versatile future of the garden and its collection.
The best thing about self-publishing: Shoot, print, share. Possibly save a botanical garden.