De botanische revolutie - Over kunst en de noodzaak van tuinieren

On the necessity of art and gardening


Sep 11, 2021 — May 1, 2022

De botanische revolutie - Over kunst en de noodzaak van tuinieren

On the necessity of art and gardening

Gardens have appealed to our imagination for centuries. We associate them with harmonious bliss, a place to witness the cycle of life and death, a place of contemplation, and a refuge from the worries and cares of daily life. And certainly in these times of being cooped up at home, there is a strong desire to have one’s own bit of greenery.

The botanical revolution, on the necessity of art and gardening is the story of the garden as a fertile source of inspiration for artists. Throughout the centuries, artists, writers, poets and philosophers have described, depicted and defined the garden in constantly changing ways. Gerrit Komrij – whose 1990 Huizinga lecture is the source of the exhibition title – described how, for much of history, the idea of the garden was closely interrelated with changing mentalities and intellectual controversies. Gardens remain a rich source of inspiration for contemporary art, though the prevailing theme is no longer romantic longing but a call to reshape our relationship with the earth. How do today’s artists reflect on themes such as primeval paradise, vegetable gardens, botany and climate change? Surprising classic and modern examples reveal the deep roots of the exhibition’s themes.

Photo: Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide) The Garden, 2014, film, 56’

Media guide
In the media guide, cultural journalist Yuki Kho and film director and environmentalist Safi Graauw tell stories about their favourite pieces in the exhibition based on their knowledge, personal experience and artistic admiration . The guide also invites you to spend extra time with a number of specific pieces. During these extended stops, you can participate in visual meditations by artist Adelijn van Huis or listen to stories by artist Joan Kuhlman.

The media guide can be accessed directly from your smartphone. You do not need to download anything: simply scan a QR code in the museum to open the media guide. We recommend bringing your own set of headphones.

Fringe programme
Please see the Programme of Events for an overview of all activities organised in relation to the exhibition. Note: All events are in Dutch

Publicatie on the necessity of gardening

On the Necessity of Gardening; An ABC on Art, Botany and Cultivation is a lavishly illustrated publication produced in collaboration with publisher Valiz. This abecedarium presents the cultural-historical tradition of gardens and artist’s gardens, as well as concepts such as the Anthropocene.
With contributions by: Maria Barnas, Jonny Bruce, Laurie Cluitmans, Liesbeth M. Helmus, Erik de Jong, René de Kam, Alhena Katsof, Jamaica Kincaid, Bart Rutten, Catriona Sandilands, and Patricia de Vries. The publication design is by Bart de Baets.

Derk Alberts, Maria Thereza Alves, Yael Bartana, Jurgen Bey, Juliette Blightman, Abraham Bloemaert, Johannes Bosschaert, Ambrosius Bosschaert de Jonge, Andrea Büttner, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), CPR (Charlotte Rooijackers), Meester van Delft, Jeremy Deller, Elspeth Diederix, Stan Douglas, Albrecht Dürer, Cecile Espinasse, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Vincent van Gogh, Lungiswa Gqunta, Hendrick Goltzius, Rumiko Hagiwara, Saskia Noor van Imhoff, Patricia Kaersenhout, Tetsumi Kudo, Herman Justus Kruyder, Jort van der Laan, Hans van Lunteren & Ienke Kastelein, Kerry James Marshall, meester van Paulus en Barnabas, Maria Sibylla Merian, Maria Pask, Otto van Rees, Willem de Rooij, Roelant Saverij, Jennifer Tee, Henk Wildschut.

Nest art space

Nest art space
Parallel to the exhibition in the Centraal Museum, the exhibition Is it possible to be a revolutionary and like flowers? can be seen in Nest art space in The Hague. The artists
in this eponymous exhibition answer this question with a clear yes! They depart from their own artistic perspective, but find each other in feminist affinities, queer desires and ecological solidarity. Featuring work by Mehraneh Atashi, Rossella Biscotti, Milena Bonilla, Anne Geene, Philipp Gufler, Gluklya, Camille Henrot, Patricia Kaersenhout, Otobong Nkanga, Ruchama Noorda, Maria Pask, CPR (Charlotte Rooijackers) and Lily van der Stokker. This exhibition is curated by Heske ten Cate, artistic director Nest, Eva Burgering, assistant curator and Laurie Cluitmans,
curator Centraal Museum.

Etching workshop and walk

Etching workshop and walking tour
The duties of municipal gardeners mostly consist of weeding out the plants that today’s greenery management policies label as undesirable. But should we really be removing these plants? And do we really want to live in cities where greenery is controlled according to extremely rigid rules? Or would we prefer to leave more room for nature and the knowledge and wishes of the gardeners who manage our cities’ green spaces? What is the secret value of the plants that are written off as “weeds” and barred from the urban environment?

Take a walk with a member of the municipal greenery department and discover the plants that grow in the area around the museum, collecting so-called weeds which you will then use to create etchings during the workshop. The workshop will be held in the Tuinzaal under the direction of artists Cécile Espinasse and Sixtine Blandin. Please note that the workshop is in English, while the walk is in Dutch.

Cécile Espinasse
Cécile leads this project, having done an internship of sorts as artist in residence with a municipal greenery management team in the spring of 2021. She also developed the presentation on display in the construction trailer in the museum garden. This presentation was specially created for the exhibition The botanical revolution. On the necessity of art and gardening.

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