Art and gardens harmoniously wed

 
Art in the garden

Art in the garden

An ape outdoors deep in thought, a maze hidden among towering old trees and signs pointing to Canada in the lowland riparian forest – all these things await visitors interested in seeing how art weds to gardens in Tulln.

At the invitation of a Lower Austrian initiative on public art, five artists reflected on the connection between art and gardens and created intriguing works of art on the subject. These artworks invite people on a new kind of stroll through Tulln, the green city of art and gardens. Some works are freely accessible in Tulln Water Park and others are at GARTEN TULLN.  

Artworks in the water park:

“Conversation” by Klaus Weber

An ape is perched in the distance, in a clearing in the Tulln Water Park. He is sitting on a stack of books and looking at a human skull. A compass and light bulb can also be seen. This work by the Berlin artist Klaus Weber depicts a philosophizing ape, a subject of the 19th c, and alludes to Charles Darwin’s theory of man descending from the apes. The sculpture is intended as a criticism of the anthropocentric view of the world – of human beings always putting themselves in the center of reality in the world. The ape gives the viewer cause to think: Who are we? What is our relationship with nature and with the world?

“From Gasoline to Sugar Beet” by Nils Norman

The sculptures by the British conceptual artist Nils Norman camouflage themselves as a guidance system, as harmless traffic signs at the junctions of paths. The things written on the signs are intriguing, however. An arrow points in the direction of atomic power while hydro-power is in the other direction. Brazil is in that direction; behind the Arab Emirates is geothermal energy. The underlying idea of this fascinating installation is this: Many issues lie waste in the brambles of energy-producing countries, expensive raw materials and alternative energies. With his chaos metaphor, Norman draws our attention to the persistent oil crisis and the hope that springs from alternative forms of energy.

Art works at GARTEN TULLN:

„Flat World!“ – Dan Perjovschi

The Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi understands the world by drawing it. A few lines, a handful of curt words quickly scribbled down become ironic commentary on society, politics and culture. In Tulln, Perjovschi created one of his rare permanent works, rare because he defines himself as a performance artist. For him, the action, the act of drawing itself, is the essential aspect of a project. The artist built a dancefloor of sorts out of the 200 ceramic tiles he decorated with his own critical remarks about climate change. The performance elements in this case are the viewers themselves: They turn and twist around when looking at the art work.

„Daphne“ – Ines Doujak

The Austrian artist Ines Doujak shows the interplay between nature and culture, symbolized by the story of the nymph and virgin huntress Daphne from Greek mythology. She is sitting on a wooden stool in the pond behind the Visitors Center at GARTEN TULLN and taking a cigarette break while her fingertips herald her metamorphosis into a laurel. According to the myth, she asked her father the river god Peneus to bring about this transformation. She is about to cast out the large-meshed net around her waist to make a haul.

„Deep in Things“ – Emese Benczur

Emese Benczúr hails from Hungary and studied painting in Budapest – however, her artistic tool is the needle, not the brush. She sews and embroiders. In Tulln she entered the space. Mosquito nets are mounted on a framework. There is a narrow entrance through which viewers can enter the interior of an airy sculpture and proceed through a maze of parallel nets into a garden space that is both open and closed at the same time. Here the phrase “Deep in Things” becomes readable; it is formed by the superimposition of the nets. The artist is alluding to the sensual aspects of language, hiding language and then making it visible again.

Photos: (c) Christian Wachter, 2009

General map: