Angry today? Go visit Doug Aitken’s tropical garden of destruction and release. An interactive installation where the viewer both watches and is watched.
“It’s a space of annihilation. It’s a space where the viewer can perform, where the viewer can do whatever they want. It’s a space for being in the moment. I want the viewer to be liberated.”; Doug Aitken
The Garden is a living artwork that embraces the dichotomy between the natural environment and a synthetic man-made experience. Aitken’s The Garden is a new installation that brings the viewer into the center of the artwork and asks them to physically immerse, participate and become the subject of the installation. Inside an enormous bulletproof glass chamber each viewer can destroy a sterile modern environment.
Set in a huge dark warehouse space the viewer walks inside, their eyes adjust, and they see a thick lush jungle growing under artificial grow lights. Walking closer, the viewer enters inside the jungle and discovers a huge rectangular glass cube. Inside the glass room is a man-made environment replete with generic elements of modern life: tables and chairs, a cabinet, and lights.
In The Garden, the visitor both experiences the artwork from the outside while simultaneously becoming the subject when inside. One at a time they enter inside this perfect sterile room and can destroy absolutely everything. The Garden is a synthetic vision of the environment in direct conflict with the external view of the humid, thick natural greenery. The catalyst that activates the artwork is raw and brutal human expression and its release is at the core of this installation. Over the eight-week duration of this installation, the viewers will occupy the space and have the opportunity to obliterate every object in the interior. Each expression will be unique and personal to each viewer.
With this activation The Garden is a new form of artwork where the installation functions as a stage that is physical and real, while it is simultaneously filtered through a lens and streamed live from four separate cameras. In essence, this installation can be everywhere in the world where it can be accessed digitally. The viewer becomes the viewed, blurring the lines between reality and a film set. By turning the lens on the viewer the artwork extends far past its physical boundaries.
The Garden will debut at the Aros Triennial – The Garden (section The Future) in Aarhus, Denmark and will be on view from June 3 to July 30, 2017 – en.aros.dk The Garden will then go on tour to additional national and international venues whose dates will be confirmed in the next few months.
Doug Aitken (b. 1968) is an American artist and filmmaker. Defying definitions of genre, he explores every medium, from film and installations to architectural interventions.
Doug Aitken | filmed by Out of Sync | Århus June 2017
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync
Artworks courtesy | Doug Aitken | ARoS Museum
© Out of Sync 2017