Table with fruit, vegetables and flowers
Still life that appears at the end of the film "What is the Color of a German Rose?"

Maria Thereza Alves

What is the Color of a German Rose?2005

Plant from the installation

This film by Maria Thereza Alves introduces a variety of flowers, fruit and vegetables, afterward revealing where familiar and less familiar plants - such as potatoes, artichokes, carrots and oranges - originate.

"Mongolia, Tibet and the Maghreb are among the places mentioned in the film - a wide variety of distant countries that supply the products found in every German supermarket. Since people are so familiar with these products, they see them as 'local.'… The video comments symbolically on social coexistence and sensitizes viewers to the beauty of interaction and diversity. At the end of the film, this symbolism culminates in a sensuous still life showing the previously presented fruit, vegetable and plant species in lush abundance" (From the catalogue for the exhibition "How German is it? 30 Artists' Notion of Home")

The exhibition "How German is it? 30 Artists' Notion of Home" also features the installation "Wake," which Alves conceived during a temporary stay in Berlin in 2000. The artist collected soil samples from construction sites, removed the seeds and determined where they came from. She also speculated on how the seeds had reached Berlin's soil. The plants that grow from these seeds create a living artwork that will change in the course of the exhibition.

The artist was born in 1960 in São Paulo and lives and works in Rome and Berlin. Her works can be viewed at