Garden of Earthly Delights
Gropius Bau Berlin & SilvanaEditoriale, 2019
For centuries, artists have been working with the theme of the garden as a place of inspiration and critical reflection. In today’s world, defined by radical climate change and migratory movements, our thinking about the garden has become more political. Artists use the garden as a poetic form of expression to reflect upon the complex contexts of a chaotic and increasingly precarious present. The motif of the garden, which is one of the oldest symbols for the cycle of life and decay, can be seen today as an extended metaphor for the state of the world.
This publication includes a selection of texts that inspired the curatorial concept and participating artists for the exhibition Garden of Earthly Delights at the Gropius Bau, Berlin. The compilation comprises reprints of poetry and prose, philosophical investigations, magazine and newspaper articles, and scholarly essays.
Artists offer new insights into their thinking about the garden as secluded and circumscribed, a protective and protected place of yearning, it is viewed here as a place of duality and contradiction. The various artistic perspectives on the garden give rise to the five themes for the exhibition and this book: Pairidaeza, Paradise, Utopia, Dystopia; Urban Gardening; Anthropocene, Chthulucene; Garden as a System/Structure of Thought; Colonialism, Migration, Botany.