‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ is a major exhibition at Gropius Bau, Berlin – running to 1 December 2019. The curator, Stephanie Rosenthal, has included Foucault’s text on heterotopia and other references to the concept in the beautifully presented accompanying catalogue.
Garden of Earthly Delights sees over 20 international artists using the space of the garden as a metaphor for the state of the world, in an exploration of the complexities of our chaotic and increasingly precarious present.
“Alongside the classical reading of the garden as a secluded and circumscribed place of yearning full of meditative, spiritual, and philosophical possibilities, it is viewed in the exhibition as a place of duality and contradiction: a threshold between reality and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, harmony and chaos, between being shut out and being included.
In today’s era, defined by radical climate change and migratory flows, the garden can be seen as a place of paradise and exile, reflecting within its borders themes as pressing as the anthropocene, seed politics, the legacies of colonialism and historical segregation. In addition to deliberate political positions, the Garden of Earthly Delights features works that also bring to life the sensual dimensions of gardens: immersive installations and video works show an intensive abundance of nature, but also the fragility of the paradise-like state”.
Works by Maria Thereza Alves, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Hicham Berrada, John Cage, Tacita Dean, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Futurefarmers, Lungiswa Gqunta, Libby Harward, Rashid Johnson, Yayoi Kusama, Louise Lawler, Renato Leotta, Isabel Lewis and LABOUR, Jumana Manna, Uriel Orlow, Heather Phillipson, Pipilotti Rist, Maaike Schoorel, Taro Shinoda, Zheng Bo as well as a painting from the school of Hieronymus Bosch.
Detail from left panel of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights