General Ecology – PLANTSEX: Laurence Totelin



LAURENCE TOTELIN, Orchids and Lettuce: Plants as Sexual Aids in Antiquity.

In this illustrated talk, Laurence Totelin examines ancient Greek and Roman aphrodisiac – and an-aphrodisiac – recipes, the vast majority of which included vegetable ingredients. Totelin explores how ancient perceptions of a plant’s gender impacted on its alleged efficacy as a sexual aid or as a means to extinguish sexual desire and argues that vegetable ingredients, combined with animal ones, reignited or quenched the ‘wilderness’ in ‘civilised’ humans, who could temporarily turn into animals under the spell of desire.

The Serpentine Galleries’ General Ecology project’s evening of talks, screenings and performances reflecting on the long and deep relationship between botany and eroticism – PLANTSEX

The evening marked the launch of a special, co-edited issue of MAL journal, also titled PLANTSEX.

More on General Ecology: https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/general-ecology

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