by Annegien van Doorn

“Why do plastic flamingos spark joy?” wonders Annegien van Doorn on the back cover of her photo book Biophilia. In her work she explores the innate, somewhat twisted relationship that human beings have formed with nature.
Although humans have always attempted to incorporate natural aspects into their immediate surroundings, this general urge seems to have intensified over recent years. This is demonstrated by the rising amount of artificial nature in modern homes, workplaces, and shopping malls, as well as the abundance of prints of animals and plants that can be found on the walls of eateries, public transportation hubs, and dental offices. Yet, aren’t we drifting away from nature if we can meet our primal need with a photo print of a waterfall or a cactus-shaped lamp? What does our current relationship with nature tell us about ourselves as ‘modern’ human beings?