‘Des Pudels Kern’ is a in the German language well-known phrase that is based on the tragic play ‘Faust’ written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. An adequate English expression would be for example ‘the crux of the matter’.

‘Das also war des Pudels Kern!’ (So that was the kernel of the poodle!)  is a key- sentence of the main protagonist Faust in the moment he is recognizing that he is dealing with evil/ the devil (that has been hiding in the body of a poodle).

In Goethe’s tragedy the evil is trying to seduce a human (who has to pay finally with his soul) in order to stay alive. In a certain way the grafted, colourful part of the multiple cactus has a similar, existentialistic problem. The brightly red or yellow tissue can’t survive on its own because it has no chlorophyll. It needs to be attractive to humans who graft it on a normal, green cactus in order supply it with energy and keep it alive.

The multiple (10 grafted cacti with graffiti in package 6,5 x 6,5 x 15 cm) was made for plugin (a trial project aimed at strengthening the economic skills of young artists and curators while establishing alternative structures for distributing new contemporary art) Initiated by G. Bott and M. Lütkemeyer / Derik-Baggert-Gesellschaft e.V. Hamminkeln, Germany in the scope of the INTERREG VA program.

photography Helmut Dick


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