“Palladian Bridge and Gothick House, Stowe". Ink-jet print 20x28cm, 2004

ARCADIA - MODEL, MUSUM AND PLAYGROUND
Gallery Brändström and Stene, Stockholm, 2005

212 silver gelatin prints


By the mid-1700’s, ideas appeared in the field of garden art, that went against the strict ideals of the Baroque gardens. The Romanticist gardens were arranged to resemble wild nature, but they were not wilder or more natural, nor less planned than their Baroque predecessors. The Romanticist gardens referred to Arcadia, a world created in bucolic poetry and in landscape painting. Arcadia expressed a faith in the animated garden, awoken by the philosophers, scientists, artists and mystics of the time.


The atmospheric landscapes of Arcadia, portrayed through the gardens of Romanticism, seldom bore any resemblance to the neighbouring areas. The idea was that the gardens should be picturesque. The sites were tidied up and furnished. A philosophy expressing a will of going back to nature seems to have marked a criticism of civilisation as well as a growing environmentalism. Dead trees and artificial ruins were constructed in the gardens. City budgets were depleted in efforts to create knight’s castles and underground lakes. China and the Orient inspired exotic constructions, alluding to fantasies of faraway cultures. At the same time, local history was put forward as an expression of a growing passion for feudalism and heathen times.


Romanticist garden architecture indicated a re-mystification of the secular world of the Enlightenment. The garden was an ideal world as well as an escape from reality. In many ways it has similarities with society of today: New Age, Living History, Storytelling, Virtual Reality, New Urbanism and Live Roleplaying Games. Using games, people of the time tried to avoid alienation and at the same time – consciously or un-consciously – alternatives were created. The garden became a tool with which to shape, re-shape and question society, identity, time and space. Free zones, where subjective storytelling took place, were created there. In the form of games, fact and fiction were equalled in a collective virtual reality.


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“Grotto, Lindenhof" and "Grotto, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2003

“Hermitage, Forsmark" and "African Hut, Tatton Park". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2002 and 2004

“Chinese Bridge, Wörlitz" and "Chinese Pavillion, Shugborough". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2003

“Pyramid, Potsdam" and "Pyramid, Parc Monceau". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2003

“Temple, Stowe" and "Temple, Söderfors". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2002 and 2004

“Roman Tent, Haga". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2002

“Dolmen, Iilton". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2004

“Gothick House, Stowe" and "Castle, Broadway". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2004

“Ruin, Kew" and "Ruin, Mow Cop". Ink-jet prints 20x28cm, 2004

Installation view, Gallery Brandstrom & Stene, Stockholm, 2005

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