Gathering works from over 20 international artists using the space of the garden as a metaphor for the state of the world, in an exploration of the complexities of our chaotic and increasingly precarious present, Gropius Bau presents the exhibition Garden of Earthly Delights.
Alongside the classical reading of the garden as a secluded and circumscribed place of yearning full of meditative, spiritual, and philosophical possibilities, it is viewed in the exhibition as a place of duality and contradiction: a threshold between reality and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, harmony and chaos, between being shut out and being included. Garden of Earthly Delights features works that also bring to life the sensual dimensions of gardens: immersive installations and a virtual reality work show an intensive abundance of nature, but also the fragility of the paradisiacal state.
The exhibition’s combining of the paradisiacal and the catastrophic takes its inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch’s 15th-century triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, which also provides the exhibition its title. A version of The Garden of Earthly Delights dating from 1535 to 1550, created by the school of Hieronymus Bosch, thus provides a point of departure for the exhibition.
- Pipilotti Rist, Homo sapiens sapiens (video still), 2005, © Pipilotti Rist, Courtesy of Pipilotti Rist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine