Opening: 2013/05/25 14:30
Eight national and international artists reflect on the tension between privacy and public life, the limits of personal and psychological space, voluntary isolation and involuntary exclusion.
With the addition of the ‘Hortiflora’ flower garden from Nightingale Park, in 2012 the Middelheim Museum acquired a new piece of land for the museum, a formal garden hidden behind a thick layer of greenery. The garden’s design is based on the concept of the Hortus conclusus, the enclosed garden, which has been laden with meaning since the Middle Ages. According to Erasmus, it was a place for contemplation and introspection; for the (once very powerful) Catholics who commissioned art, it was an accessible metaphor for the Marian message; and for artists since the Flemish Primitives, a welcome opportunity to experiment with perspectives and spaciousness.
These days, enclosed gardens are associated with many other things. They are, for instance, the ideal location for creating a small personal paradise. And we do this literally: Flemish front and back gardens are well known for their intense creativity in just a few square metres. But regardless of our geographic possibilities, we also all dream (openly or otherwise) of a space in which our own tastes can find expression.
Plenty of material, then, for an exciting group exhibition, put together in consultation with Hans Op de Beeck, who was the first artist to be selected.