Falling Garden

This beautiful and peaceful installation was created by contemporary Swedish artists Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger for 50th Biennial of Venice in 2003. In their work the artists design site-specific installations that envelop the viewer—epically and exquisitely.

Falling Garden is a world in which botanical curios are suspended from the ceiling of a 17th-century church in Venice. It’s a botanic tableau in three dimensions, against a backdrop of richly decorated Italian marble. The piece immerses visitors in a magical reality of dreamy conceits—if a blossom had a mind, this is surely what it would look like. Falling Garden becomes the visitors’ collective dream of botanical liturgies and ecclesiastic whimsy.

Here is the description, quite a fairy-tale like one like the entire installation, of the project provided by the authors, also providing the explanation as to why it was in a church:

The Doge (duke Mocenigo) needed a church so as to be able to have a monumental tomb built for himself, the church (San Staë) needed a saint so as to be able to be built, the saint (San Eustachio) needed a miracle so as to be pronounced a saint, the miracle needed a stag in order to be seen, and we built the garden for the reindeer.
The visitors lie on the bed above the doge’s gravestone, and the garden thinks for them.

To further extend the installation’s dimensionality, consider the geographic distance it spans: Falling Garden is a collection of botanical tokens from many different places, including: plastic berries (India), cow pads (Jura), waste paper (Venice), baobab seeds (Australia), beech, elder and magnolia branches (Uster), thorns (Almeria), nylon blossoms (one-dollar-shop), pigs’ teeth (Indonesia), seaweed (Seoul), orange peel (Migros shop), fertilizer crystals (home grown), pigeons’ bones (San Staë), silk buds (Stockholm), cattail (Ettiswil), cats’ tails (China), celery roots (Montreal), virility rind (Caribbean), wild bore quills (zoo), banana leaves (Murten), rubber snakes (Cincinnati) and many more.

 

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