All That We Know consists of six large-scale sculptures of common fruits and vegetables that, for many generations, have been said to have healing properties. With this work, SUPERFLEX makes a connection between traditional medicine and official science, aiming to highlight our ever-shifting relationship to both knowledge and nature.
SUPERFLEX put real fruits and vegetables through an MRI scanner, and used the resulting images to design the sculptures. Today we use complex technology to study their interior structures, chemical components, and potential healing properties. Over time, our ideas of nature have been slowly transformed by scientific investigations; once perceived as a divine force, today nature is often considered subordinate to humanity. We have placed ourselves in a narrative in which we separate ourselves from nature and strive to defy its limits.
Yet we have always sought treatments and cures in the realm of nature. The mythical benefits of fruits and vegetables were once discussed in prominent medical publications; today, these ideas are still passed down in communities and families, and information about home remedies is disseminated widely on the internet. In the past and the present, storytelling and folk medicine have turned out to be complements to science.
As medical beliefs have shifted, mythical beliefs have transformed into scientific knowledge and vice versa. Our relationship to nature continuously changes based on all that we don’t know – and all that we know.
“If you eat conjoined strawberries, you will have twins”
“If you are aggravated by witches or jaundice, you should urinate into a hollowed carrot and hang it in the chimney”
“Rheumatism and toothaches can be prevented by sewing a potato into the pocket of your trousers”
“In case of insect and viper bites, rubbing garlic in the wound should cause it to heal”
“If you have a headache, you should put a dry, split pear behind your ears”
“Diabetics can reduce the risk of high blood sugar by eating broccoli”