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Indepth Arts News:

"Enclosed and Enchanted"
2000-07-16 until 0000-00-00
Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
Oxford, , UK

Enclosed and Enchanted, an exhibition illustrating the ways in which ten contemporary artists explore various forms of landscape architecture, such as gardens, labyrinths, and parks. The artists included in the exhibition are Jean-Marc Bustamante (France), Stan Douglas (Canada), Gilbert & George (UK), Antony Gormley (UK), Cristina Iglesias (Spain), Takahiko Iimura (Japan), Wolfgang Laib (Germany), Diana Thater (USA), and Jan Vercruysse (Belgium).

United by an interest in architecture and how the outside world can be reconfigured in the context of the gallery, these artists examine the duality in man-made, yet natural, spaces. The result is a kind of double enclosure, in which the appropriation of nature by the artist mimics the taming of nature by the landscape architect. For these artists, the garden is an enclosed space that creates a natural imbalance, mimicking nature while simultaneously refuting many of its laws. The works included - ranging from photography to sculpture to installations - lead us to an unnatural space of refuge, pleasure, and fear.

Thus, Jan Vercruysse (Belgium) examines the notion of the maze or labyrinth, in what he calls the pleasure garden, in which the pleasure perhaps lies in getting lost.

Cristina Iglesias (Spain) constructs a fantastic inner chamber, a room of cast-bronze or aluminium vegetation.

Antony Gormley (UK) fashions an enormous apple, hanging from the ceiling like a relic from the Garden of Eden.

Jean-Marc Bustamante (France) suggests a relationship between a landscape composed of photographs of trees and abstract cement sculptures.

Stan Douglas (Canada) documents another kind of hidden landscape: the Schrebergärten that are situated between houses and railway tracks.

Takahiko Iimura (Japan) shows how film can transform a landscape, in this case a Japanese rock garden.

Wolfgang Laib (Germany) presents us with nature itself, in his delicate but geometric, pollen floor pieces.

Gilbert & George (UK), in their 'charcoalsculptures', also attempt to enclose us in an artificial space, drawn from recognisable spaces like the Tuilerie Gardens in Paris

And, finally, Diana Thater (USA) uses Monet’s gardens in Giverny as a springboard for an examination of colour and perception.

In addition, the exhibition will be sprinkled with memories of gardens and parks drawn from the past, including renditions of gardens and ruins by Giovanni Battista Piranesi as well as medieval texts on the garden such as the Ruralium Commodorum of Petrus de Crescentiis.

Wolfgang Laib
Pollen from Hazelnut, 1992
350 x 400cm
Sperone Westwater

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