Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, May 15, 2017

But I know what I like. - Sunday May 14th

 “The immersion in a garden sometimes goes as far as the act of absorption, leading to the culture and consumption of psychotropic plants…...healing, intoxicating or poisoning chemistry, the ingestion of plants produces recreational and toxic uses, leading to new states of consciousness. Alchemy can even go further  ...... pushes this symbiosis to its utmost limit and imagines a “fantastic universe of seeds, germs and ferments where the human species would have become permeable to the plant and animal kingdoms.”

With those cheery thoughts, and many more buzzing in our heads, we left the Centre Pompidou wondering exactly what we had just seen.  The exhibition entitled “Infinite Garden” was challenging in parts, often leaving us in awe of the artist’s skill in convincing the world that his humble experiments were worthy of inclusion in a major exhibition.  This process made even more astonishing in many cases by the fact that many of the artists have long been pushing up the very daisies that inspired them so.

It was Monet who left the greatest mark as he often does: “When he starts to create his famous garden in Giverny, where he paints his Water Lilies, Claude Monet meets with local resistance, people fear that the specimens imported from Japan would poison the surrounding streams. Far from being anecdotal, this struggle reflects the fantasy of an invasive alterity that foreign plants convey.”   It was with some relief that we discovered on reading this line, that we would no longer be returning to the mess that is our own garden after months of absence, but we can actually look forward to “the fantasy of an invasive alterity”.


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