The Sort

Pieter Geenen

101 Archival pigment prints, black & white, each 27 x 35 cm, framed without glass, 2015

Support by Flemish Community; Flemish Community Commission; ARGOS Centre for Art and Media









The Sort is a collection and classification of 101 images of about 55 tobacco varieties discovered in the archive of the Delhi Tobacco Museum in Ontario, Canada, a region with a history of tobacco cultivation by European immigrants, many of them Belgian. The images have been reactivated by means of digitisation, digital processing, standardisation, printing, and recategorisation. The way they are photographed, in front of a white background, isolated from the other plants on the plantation, addresses questions on the politics of imperialism and colonialism, globalisation, migration and exploitation. Plants always reveal something about people, their desires and fears, and their attitudes toward life and world orders. Images of plants are more than just images of plants. In this case the tobacco plants become a symbol of the exotic, of the other, of power structures disregarding their significance for Indigenous populations.

Selected exhibitions & screenings:

ISELP Brussels 2017; ARGOS Centre for Art and Media Brussels 2015


© Dirk Pauwels