Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director, Serpetine Galleries, London) talks about Fischli/Weiss‘ “Garden” (1997/2016).

In 1997, in their second contribution to the major public art exhibition Skulptur Projekte Münster, which is staged every ten years, Peter Fischli and David Weiss designed a display which, as the above-cited reference suggests, many of the visitors failed to recognize as a work of art. Garden consisted of an array of beds and a compost heap and included a shelter with seating and a shed for garden tools and other equipment. As is natural for a vegetable garden, it was planted with local vegetables and fruit as well as with herbs and flowers; its horticultural splendor lay in its comprehensive ordinariness. The layout and planting complied with ecological guidelines and were also subject to aesthetic considerations. Thus, Garden was governed by a fragile balance between charm and yield, utility and beauty, cultivation and contingency, order and disorder, artificiality and naturalness. Usually a vegetable garden is a private place, but here, visitors were invited to enter and experience its ambience. At the same time, the temporary microcosm never disclosed its nature as a work of art.
In the context of the 2016 exhibition «Alexander Calder & Fischli/Weiss», Garden is to be re-created on a plot of land neighboring Fondation Beyeler—in other words, planted afresh and left to grow for one summer. Work began in February 2016 and lasted until the end of May, that is, until the opening of the exhibition.
Garden is generously supported by Simone and Peter Forcart-Staehelin.

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