landscapes or the vasculum of public space(s)*)
Landscapes or the vasculum of public space(s) - this includes also other works like jardin temporaire, im Geröll, the hidden hyacinths of the Yamuna - is a growing body of works where I contemplate about the term "landscape" which can not be pinned down to one meaning.
The word landscape describes the aesthetic perception of site and space whose history traces back to the ancient civilisations of the Greeks and Romans (which have their roots in the ancient cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel). The main discourse is about the term locus amoenus which defines a "lovely place" (see work: locus amoenus).
The perception of landscape is always determined by the cultural-sociological-historical knowledge of the viewer which is changing through the centuries depending on the current conceptions of what defines a "perfect landscape".
"Denn die Natur ist unsichtbar: wir können sie nur darstellen."
(cit: Lucius Burckhardt, Warum ist Landschaft schön, Martin Schmitz Verlag Kassel, 1980, p:49).
"For nature is invisible we can only represent it."
Landscapes and gardens are always dealing with elements of nature. They impart our image of nature. The French baroque gardens and the English landscape gardens of the 17th/18th century used each their own vocabulary to structure and compose the gardens. The baroque gardens dominated by a strict geometry and an explicit border against the outside "wilderness". The English gardens pretended to be natural, archaic and included the farm land and the peasant in their concept. It was the time when the explorers and the conquerors brought exotic plants from the "new" world, when glasshouses were built to recreate "nature". These gardens represented the relation to nature at the time of the European conquests and colonisations.
With the foundations of the nature parcs in the 19th century nature ceased to be wild – it became a place of longing.
Today we mix up landscape with nature.
Today’s real nature is the waste land, the abandoned agricultural land, the unused parking lot, the abandoned ruine of an industrial building.
(based on L. Burckhardt, Wikipedia and my text: Die Botanisierbüchse der Öffentlichkeit(en))
*) the vasculum of public space(s) – Die Botanisierbüchse der Öffentlichkeit(en) is the title of my exposition which I wrote for my studies (MAS in public sphere) at University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Lucerne, Switzerland. It was done during my realisation of the project jardin temporaire in Paris, 2006/7.
© Rahel Hegnauer