garden issues

Queens Museum presents an exhibition on artist’s understanding of gardens. Eventhough that theme had been picked up already several times I think the

approaching attitude of Down the Garden Path: The Artist’s Garden After Modernism worth to point towards it. Still not groundbreaking, but it recalls a contextual method for the understanding of gardens with showing …
from Derek Jarman’s garden
… materials that refer to gardens as metaphors or points of departure to understand history, politics, and our relationship to nature. There is a long and distinguished list of artists’ gardens. Presented here is a small selection chosen from the vast history, not because they are well known for several of them are imaginary and another has been all but destroyed, but because of their integrity to an uncompromising position about the world.

The NYT explores a bit further by not only looking but as well reading the catalogue and discovers among others the already longer lasting project of artist Mel Chin and his planting experiments.

Perhaps the most ambitious of the socially activist garden designers is Mel Chin, who created an experimental garden in a toxically polluted area — shown here as a model — planted with species that consume heavy metals and thereby help cleanse the earth. For the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas in Austin, Mr. Chin is developing an expansive park in which sites from geographically and socially separate parts of that city will be reproduced to create a metaphor for and a practical inducement to integration.

(further: … link to elder issues of Kunstforum international archive for german readers: Künstler als Gärtner)

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