La Ville, le Jardin, la Mémoire (1998-2000), Roma

Hans Ulrich Obrist and Stefano Boeri (photo g.n.)

La Ville, le Jardin, la Mémoire 1998-2000
Le Jardin 2000

About thirty international artists and the artists in residence of Villa Medici and the theme of gardens in our cities.
June 22 – September 24, 2000

In the summers of 1998 and 1999, Villa Medici welcomed the first and second editions of a triennial cycle of exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art La Ville, le Jardin, la Mémoire. Bruno Racine, the Director of the French Academy in Rome, invited three curators: Laurence Bossé, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Hans Ulrich Obrist. The cycle concludes itself in the summer 2000 with the last edition dedicated specifically to the garden theme.

In 1998 and 1999, Villa Medici opened its doors to the Roman public, allowing them the opportunity to discover the interior of the Villa as well as a large part of the gardens. In the first year, about thirty contemporary artists and architects explored the relationship between the city and nature in an urban context ; while in the second year another group focused on memory and its power to create unprecedented itineraries over time and history.

The third edition, dedicated to the garden, opened June 21, 2000.

The highlights of the exhibition

About thirty international artists explored, together with the artists in residence at the Villa Medici, the future of the gardens in our cities.

At the heart of this “walk” a pavilion in the garden recalled the architecture of Folie. According to the English city planner Cedric Price, insanity permits a distortion of time and space, mingling magic with mystery, games with imagination, the present with the future. The pavilion was a physical realisation of a data bank or archive on contemporary artists’ gardens from all over the world. This archive also contained documentation of garden projects, created by artists in the past, as well as future projects.
Collaboration for La Folie: Mark André/Pierre Reimer, Gianfranco Baruchello, Stefano Boeri, Lucius Burckhardt, Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, Yung Ho Chang, Barbara Nemitz, Olaf Nicolaï, Giancarlo Norese, Cedric Price, Philippe Rahm, Natascha Sadr-Haghighian, Stalker/A12, Ceryth Wyn Evans.

G.N., Non so nulla della Villa
(detail, see link)

Designers Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby experimented their “mutant” garden decoration in the structure of the pavilion, with objects conceived on the notion of a dynamic design.

Beginning from this intermediary zone, which was the starting point of the internet site and of the published exhibition catalogue, a series of itineraries through the gardens of Villa Medici was presented. The internet site presented itself as a virtual garden, a project with the theme of the global garden and its relationship to specialised gardens. The site’s elaboration was the product of the collaboration of the group of city planners: A12 and Stalker, the artist Giancarlo Norese and Udo Noll.

The famous landscape architect Gilles Clément, curator of the great exhibition “Le Jardin Planetaire” at the Villette, gave his vision of the garden as a complex resource which can not be isolated from its environment nor from its context, the city of Rome. He created, in collaboration with Nicolas Gilsoul, architect pensionnaire of the Villa Medici, a project as reflection on landscape: not an ephemeral event, but a preparation of a specific direction of the gardens of the Villa Medici.
For reasons concerning the setting of the place, Nicolas Gilsoul collaborated with Stalker and A12 for the realisation of the Folie at the interior of the zone called the “Bosco”.

Natascha Sadr-Haghighian created a sound landscape for the Folie.


Art: Georges Adéagbo, Giovanni Anselmo, Massimo Bartolini, Gianfranco Baruchello, Laurent P. Berger, Hervé Brunon, Lucius Burckhardt, Daniel Buren, Janet Cardiff, Maurizio Cattelan, Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, Maria Eichhorn, Teresita Fernàndez, Thierry Fontaine, Jakob Gautel, Dan Graham, Bruno Graziani, Cai Guo Qiang, Fabrice Hybert, Koo Jeong-a, Bertrand Lavier, Eric Madeleine, Stéphane Marcault, Marisa Merz, Barbara Nemitz, Olaf Nicolaï, Udo Noll, Giancarlo Norese, Alfredo Pirri, Luigi Ontani, Pierre Reimer, Natascha Sadr-Haghighian, Yutaka Sone, Ceryth Wyn Evans

Architecture: A12, Stefano Boeri, Gilles Clément, Nicolas Gilsoul, Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Cedric Price, Philippe Rahm, Stalker

Philosophy: Enzo Cucchi

Graphics: M/M

Photographic Service: Claudio Abate, Marco Fedele di Catrano

Music: Mark André, Alexandros Markeas

Dance: Min Tanaka

Literature: Claire Legendre

Atelier del Bosco: Franz West, artistic direction of Zerynthia Association for Contemporary Art.

Lucius Burckhardt’s napkin

A trilingual catalogue was published with Paris-Musées, with graphics by M/M, thanks to the support of the Groupe BNP Paribas, as well as the AFAA-Association Française pour l’Action Artistique-, and the Ville de Paris; with the participation of, in addition to the artists and curators present in this exhibition, Geoffrey Bawa, Laura Cherubini, Jimmie Durham, Massimiliano Gioni, Hou Hanru, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Bruno Latour, Max Neuhaus, Guy Tortosa, Massimo Venturi Ferriolo.