Prosperity Biotopes / Nocturnal Garden

In nature, symbionts are life forms that interact in mutually beneficial ways. In the presentation “Prosperity Biotopes / Nocturnal Garden,” the botanical art projects of Daan Samson and Elsbeth van Noppen also come together in a mutually beneficial way.

In recent years, the two artists have each developed a research trajectory in which “the world of fauna and flora” plays an important role. For example, Daan Samson creates “welfare biotopes.” These are defined habitats in which milk-frothers and other “comfort enhancers” come together with living plants and ant colonies. On the other hand, video artist Elsbeth van Noppen focuses on the intimate relationship between the night, man, and nature. With the long-running project “Nocturnal Garden,” she creates a universe in which botany, performance art, and nightclub culture are mixed into a sultry cocktail.

This spring, the monumental art spaces of NP3 Groningen are the setting for the profitable meeting of these two art projects.


Nocturnal Garden/ The Hidden Nightlife of Plants- Elsbeth van Noppen

“Nocturnal Garden” creates nightly escapades of sweltering air, exotic fragrances, and an exuberant nature that evokes a desire for nocturnal adventures. In her hyper-visual films and stills, director Elsbeth van Noppen creates a contemporary audiovisual erotic garden. In this utopian botanical world, Van Noppen positions herself in the limitless environment of the night garden to explore the intimate sensations that she experiences in the presence of flora at night. 

“Nocturnal Garden” is inspired by 18th-century English erotic gardens, tantalizing botanical texts by Erasmus Darwin from The Loves of the Plants (1791), the sexual taxonomy system of Linnaeus, and the fantastic literature by Ronald Fraser from 1926. In the conservative era, gardens and nature were used as metaphors to describe the female body and sexuality, thereby creating a libertine way to celebrate sexuality. 

“Nocturnal Garden” is an extensive project consisting of films, photos, and live VJ performances. With this project, Van Noppen has combined her love for the night, film, music, multimedia art, and flora in one project. 


Prosperity Biotopes – Daan Samson

Almost everyone feels attracted to the tropical islands presented to us in commercials. Do we collectively yearn to escape from the current society to a world where life is orderly and unspoilt? Could present-day people even survive in a habitat that has only paradisaical traits? Perhaps we can only appreciate an untouched oasis when surrounded by our beloved facial cleansers, eye massage tools, and kamado barbecues.

Art project “Prosperity Biotopes” brings together two extremes: our yearning for unspoilt natural beauty, and the all-too-human wish to lead a comfortable, prosperous life.


MAY 2022 NP3 | RE:Search:Gallery Groningen Performance, Photography, VJ/Visuals