All is well in the garden

2017, installation with audio tour (11:31 min), peat, sand, logs, lacquer

 

“I want to tell you a story… I will take you on a tour.”

All is well in the garden was on display in the garden of the Piet Zwart Institute, in December 2017. It consisted of an installation in combination with an audio tour, which functioned as a prosaic guide through the work. The audience were invited to listen to the audio on headphones, while moving through the installation.

The work speaks about what happens when we dig away the ground below our feet, when we experience the traces of the past and are confronted with its materials. Materials that can be preserved forever or will perish the moment you bring them to the surface. This experience relates to the experience of a landscape and is above all a sensory one, intertwined with thoughts, knowledge and memory. These three elements were choreographed into the work through the audio tour. The audio piece is a collage of my own writing together with quotes from Christopher Tilley’s book A Phenomenology of Landscape and excerpts from the movie Being There, quoting the main character Chaunsey Gardiner. Gardiner is actually a gardener, who explains the world through analogies with the garden. The man is mentally disabled, but people take his metaphors for wisdom and follow his advices without questioning his knowledge.

All is well in the garden tells a story about the history of the Dutch (peat) landscapes and offers an aberrant mode for perceiving it, in a garden: a place that is thoroughly cultivated by human hands and minds. It speaks about how we relate to place and space with our body and our imagination. Because after all: “life is a state of mind.”

The audio tour:

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