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CONTAINED LANDSCAPE
Place: Kunstverein, Göttingen, Alemania.
Dimensions: variables
Year: 2005

 

The exhibition titled “Paisaje Contenido” (Contained Landscape) proposes the utilization of various previously selected products that anybody can purchase in department stores and DIY retailers, such as OBI or Bauhaus, where it is possible to find mass-produced objects whose design implies a system of industrial mass production benefiting both the consumer and the market. I am interested in exploring the notion of serialization based on the use of the module (in this case, the troughs used to prepare concrete) and the re-utilization of the module to produce a *symbiosis that, without divesting of its form, redesigns itself and presents itself as a new object, one which appears to forget its origins but which, in fact, turns unto itself. This “new object” allows me to develop a body of work proposing a visuality associated with the notion of landscape and the occupation of a given space (in this case the architecture of the exhibition room).
The space proposes certain boundaries that are characteristic of architectural spaces, boundaries that determine a place’s capacity to be inhabited and its function. Even though the function of an exhibition gallery is clearly defined by the fact of exhibiting something, I want to engage this architectural space as a container and, specifically, as the container of a landscape, that is, as a contained landscape.

This reflection about the notion of landscape and its containment has to do with the goods on offer in the DIY department stores mentioned earlier, which give their customers the possibility to create, refurbish and install a completely fictional landscape by purchasing “small fragments of a landscape” and organizing them at will, installing them in their homes or other spaces and creating small “contained landscapes.” Such constructed landscapes are contained not only by architectural conventions of space but also conceptually, from the minute that we propose to create a space that is absolutely under our control, whose boundaries are defined not only by the spatial characteristics of the place but also by each client’s personal aesthetics and taste.

Such contained landscapes certainly go beyond the boundaries of the domestic and even the boundaries of what is immediately controllable, a concept that is further broadened if applied to spaces with a larger capacity of containment or to urban and natural landscapes. In this specific installation I deal with the latter two, drawing aspects associated with the natural landscape, i.e. its spatial and visual character, its organic logic, horizons, color, textures and the stimuli emerging from the enjoyment of being in a landscape and, on the other hand, the visual and material character of prefabricated products, whose artificiality and symbolic content attempt to imitate or represent a reality that becomes elusive in these objects but one which satisfies a new aesthetic taste and practical aspects such as maintenance, care, irrigation, etc.

The use of synthetic grass in this work is an explicit quote of landscape, domestic or natural, depending on its size, and a play on the ambiguity of both. Because the dimensions of the space (the exhibition gallery) are not those of a natural landscape and are instead closer to those of a domestic garden, the objects deployed rupture the scale of the domestic garden, becoming in turn a quotation (through scale) of the dimensions of natural space, like large seeds disseminated on the ground, whose size and density in relation to the proportions of the exhibition room produce a greater feeling of containment.

The space in the room that remains unoccupied predisposes the viewer to adopt a specific vantage point, a situation that has to do with the desire to gain a better point of view from where to observe something. This is why we always seek the best place to gain a full view of a specific landscape. This standpoint establishes a horizon or dominant issue when we are speaking about or quoting a landscape.

This landscape gradually changed and regenerated during the period of exhibition  (45 days) becoming a landscape that evidenced the passing of time, which in turn was a response to the cyclic systems that characterize nature.

The distance established by this blank space causes the viewer to participate only from outside the work, containing the landscape in his/her gaze.

*Symbiosis: Intimate association that mutually favors the development of different or similar organisms and species.

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salineros@cristiansalineros.cl Cristián Salineros