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"Breeze of AIR / Hortus Conclusus"
2001-04-29 until 2001-07-01
Witte de With Center for Contemportary Art
Breeze of AIR / Hortus Conclusus, a co-production of Witte de With and AIR
(Architecture International Rotterdam), explores the significance of the
enclosed garden (hortus conclusus) for the contemporary city.
The Rotterdam humanist Desiderius Erasmus viewed the enclosed garden as the
proper medium for depth and contemplation. These values are increasingly
important in a contemporary urban development in which people strive for more
green and resting places within the complex urban fabric.
In Breeze of AIR / Hortus Conclusus, visual artists and designers from various
landscaping traditions focus on the enclosed garden as typology and idea.
Witte de With invited eight Dutch and foreign artists to create works that
were inspired by the Erasmian conceptualization of the hortus conclusus:
Zeger Reyers (NL) shows mushroom sculptures grown in Witte de With's basement.
Elmgreen and Dragset (DK; N) exhibit their design for a pavilion in a local rose
garden rejected by the city of Rotterdam. Dennis Adams (USA) reproduces a highly
contested Rotterdam area for street prostitution in the form of a playground, Teresita
Fernández (USA) designs a dazzling green oasis, Fiona Raby and Anthony Dunne
(UK) create a room which makes radiation visible.
A number of art works will be exhibited outside of Witte de With. A labyrinth of
hive-like screens and organic forms by Cristina Iglesias (E) is on view at a defunct
travel agency. A small garden island designed by Maura Biava (I) for the imaginary
character Iride, and with an email connection to Witte de With, floats in the harbor.
The work 'Two Trees' by Cildo Meireles (Br) will be partly on view in Witte de With and
partly on a square nearby.
AIR (Architecture International Rotterdam) asked nine designers from the
occidental and oriental gardening traditions to create innovative designs for nine
locations in Rotterdam:
An Erasmian garden of the twenty-first century in the expansion of Arboretum
Trompenburg by West 8 (NL). A sublime museum garden for garden art in the inner
courtyard of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen by Charles Correa (IND). A
concealed, green place of repose and contemplation, a quiet area in public space
on the roof of the workshop building Las Palmas on Wilhelminapier in the Southern
Tip/'Kop van Zuid' by Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa (JPN). A safe idyll of
vulnerable flowers and plants for individual enjoyment in the city gardens in the
Rotterdam City centre, the Lijnbaan gardens at Joost Banckertplaats and Jan
Evertsenplaats by Georges Hargreaves (USA). The public promenade from the
centre along the gardens, Museumpark and The Park on the Maas by Georges
Descombes (CH). The internationally populated open-air living room of the city, with
an open-plan kitchen of barbecue tables in Valkeniersweide in Vreewijk adjacent to
Zuiderpark by Kamel Louafi (AR/D). The abundant green space of Spinozapark in
the centre of the post-war district Lombardijen reduced to its essential character:
one small, precious and special garden by Piet Oudolf (NL). The common
neighbourhood garden on or next to the future Hofplein flyover in the Agniese
neighbourhood by Gross.Max. (UK). An investigation to the agenda of semi-public
space for the future Central Station of Rotterdam by Atelier Quadrat (NL).
Alongside the exhibition, Breeze of AIR also includes a range of
activities. The magazine for Breeze of AIR includes the program for the show, the
sites for the design proposals, walking tours, and a guide for the Weekends of
Landscape Architecture. On June 15 and 16 there will be a symposium about the
significance and the role of public urban parks in Rotterdam.
For more information about the Breeze of AIR program see the Breeze of AIR