20 international artists inhabit the Gropius Bau’s garden of delights

Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal with Clara Meister, “Garden of earthly delights” gathers artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Nathalie Djurberg, Hans Berg and Pipilotti Rist in the garden of the Berlin Gropius Bau. 

In the garden of the Gropius Bau, a neoclassical building in Kreuzberg dedicated to arts, photography and history, 20 international artists gave their personal interpretation of the current state of the world. The garden was an allegorical choice as a metaphor for refuge, isolation, a place of paradise and exile, where one can reflect on environmental issues such as the anthropocene, the effects of colonialism and the so-called “seed politics”.

Maria Thereza Alves, who created a blossoming garden with seeds found during excavations in Berlin near the Spree river by making it a field of archaeological research on plants and politics, worked in this direction as well as Jumana Manna, with her film about the Global Seed Vault bank located on an island in the Arctic Ocean.

Alongside these more political works, more sensual immersive installations like those of Hicham Berrada who inverts day and night, inducing night-blooming jasmine to release its nocturnal scent at unusual times, and Pipilotti Rist, who opts for a more feminine and lush setting. The Garden of Eden, however, is also full of dangers and can turn into hell: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg set up virtual reality headsets to walk on the border between the two worlds.

The ambivalence is the thread Yayoi Kusama also runs on with her dotted and dreamlike room that drags the viewer into a distressing and dystopian dimension. It’s this continuous struggle between catastrophe and paradise, inspired by the triptych by Hieronymus Bosch "The garden of earthly delights", which gives the name to the exhibition, on show in Berlin until December 1, 2019.

Garden of Earthly Delights
Stephanie Rosenthal with Clara Meister
Martin Gropius Bau
Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin
Opening dates:
from July 26 to December 1, 2019

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