The exhibition Garden of Earthly Delights sees 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.
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.
In today’s era, defined by radical climate change and migratory flows, the garden can be seen as a place of paradise and exile, reflecting within its borders themes as pressing as the anthropocene, seed politics, the legacies of colonialism and historical segregation. In addition to deliberate political positions, the 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.
With works by Maria Thereza Alves, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Hicham Berrada, John Cage, Tacita Dean, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Futurefarmers, Lungiswa Gqunta, Rashid Johnson, Yayoi Kusama, Louise Lawler, Renato Leotta, Isabel Lewis, Libby Harward, Jumana Manna, Uriel Orlow, Heather Phillipson, Pipilotti Rist, Maaike Schoorel, Taro Shinoda, Zheng Bo as well as a painting from the school of Hieronymus Bosch.
Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal with Clara Meister