Garden installation for an international garden festival
Jardins de Metis (Quebec, CA)
with Rodney LaTourelle
Photos: (1)Rodney LaTourelle (2)Thilo Folkerts
of the interview with
Is it an opportunity to explore ideas, that a project for a regular client would not give you the freedom to do?
Together with the Berlin-based Canadian artist Rodney LaTourelle we conceived and built a garden project called Jardin de la Connaissance—Garden of Cognition in June 2010. The project involves about 40.000 books (equivalent to about 40 tons) that we arranged and left in the forest. The ‘Garden of Cognition’ does not illustrate a ‘return to nature’, but its intention is to provide an opportunity to experience the forest site in a unique and compelling way.
The garden engages the almost mythical relation between knowledge, culture, and nature. By using books as material in the construction of the garden, we confront these instruments of knowledge with the question of temporality. In exposing the fragile and supposedly timeless materials to transformation and disintegration, we aimed at inviting an emotional involvement of the visitor. The Jardin de la Connaissance is a sensual reading room and a laboratory for the aesthetics of the garden.
In this way, the garden is neither restricted to specific form. Even though we may and should struggle over and over to define the garden’s form and our efforts in giving it shape: There is no general form that makes a garden a garden. The attempt to define and delimit the garden even today along the etymologic root of enclosure or fence (paradeisos, grad, etc.) renders it dead: the medieval hortus conclusus is closed off to the world. It is concluded, solved, benignly encased. In the best of all cases this enclosure is the proverbial golden cage.
I believe the garden may better be kept outside of confines. For me the garden is a joyful search; far from being concluded.