If Plants Could Talk Olivier Scheffer


‘If Plants Could Talk’ is a project by the ‘Wildsnoeier’ which you can translate as Rogue Topiarist. Wildsnoeier is one of Olivier Scheffer’s alter egos. For the last two years, he has been pruning shrubs around the city, always in a conceptual way, and usually with a message. This work can be described as ‘socially critical’, although ‘socially comical’ would fit the bill equally well. His pruning of the plants represents the role we play in influencing nature and the climate. The impact that Scheffer has on a shrub is negligible compared with what is happening to the rainforests, yet what he does still manages to evoke people’s emotions.

‘If Plants Could Talk’ is a ‘cutting-hedge’ project that gives the shrubs a personality. It gives them human emotions, sometimes happy and sometimes sad; they can appear to be comical, but that makes them all the more tragic because plants do not have emotions and cannot speak up for themselves. In this work, the plants express not only their own helplessness but also the feelings of so many people who feel trapped and lonely as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

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