Davor Poljanšek, Boštjan Perovšek

It’s All Connected: Bohuslav Lavička Pharmaceutical and Medical Collection

It’s All Connected: Bohuslav Lavička Pharmaceutical and Medical Collection
Davor Poljanšek, Boštjan Perovšek (Slovenia)

Courtesy of Lek d.d.


The headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Lek in Ljubljana holds a small but extensive pharmaceutical collection connecting two fascinating men. The first is Bohuslav Lavička, a Czech-born pharmacist, who built his rich scientific collection between 1904 and 1942; the other is Davor Poljanšek, who has been taking care of the collection for decades, introducing visitors to its secret treasures.

The collection offers an insight into the thinking of a collector who, with a thoughtful selection of old books and antiquities, reveals the history of alchemy, chemistry, biology, medicine, pharmaceutics, languages and philosophy that shaped Lavička’s education. Davor Poljanšek, with his complete devotion to knowledge and this collection, has learned and passionately teaches the wonders of the world like a true Renaissance scientist, traversing from discipline to discipline and connecting all of them masterfully. He proves again and again that everything is interconnected.

Just as scientific findings and discoveries are the results of continuous revisits to the works of their predecessors, the collection’s custodian continues the work of Bohuslav Lavička. While one man built the collection, the other found the key to understanding its depths; he opened the door to us visitors and invited us on a journey through the history of science.

In this installation, Davor Poljanšek tells the story of knowledge itself with the help of a copper engraving of Mundus Elementaris (Joannis D. Millii: Antidotarium Medico-Chymicum reformatum, 1618).

Davor Poljanšek - concept and narrative
Boštjan Perovšek - sound installation

The installation was realized in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Lek on the initiative of BIO 26| Common Knowledge.