Doug Aitken's The Garden is a new installation that brings the viewer into the center of the artwork and asks them to physically immerse, participate and become the subject of the installation. Inside an enormous bulletproof glass chamber each viewer can destroy a sterile modern environment.
Set in a huge dark warehouse space the viewer walks inside, their eyes adjust, and they see a thick lush jungle growing under artificial grow lights. Walking closer, the viewer enters inside the jungle and discovers a huge rectangular glass cube. Inside the glass room is a man-made environment replete with generic elements of modern life: tables and chairs, a cabinet, and lights.
In The Garden, the visitor both experiences the artwork from the outside while simultaneously becoming the subject when inside. One at a time they enter inside this perfect sterile room and can destroy absolutely everything. The Garden is a synthetic vision of the environment in direct conflict with the external view of the humid, thick natural greenery. The catalyst that activates the artwork is raw and brutal human expression and its release is at the core of this installation. Over the eight-week duration of this installation, the viewers will occupy the space and have the opportunity to obliterate every object in the interior. Each expression will be unique and personal to each viewer.
With this activation The Garden is a new form of artwork where the installation functions as a stage that is physical and real, while it is simultaneously filtered through a lens and streamed live from six separate cameras. In essence, this installation can be everywhere in the world where it can be accessed digitally. The viewer becomes the viewed, blurring the lines between reality and a film set. By turning the lens on the viewer the artwork extends far past its physical boundaries.
The Garden debuts at the Aros Triennial - The Garden (section The Future) in Aarhus, Denmark, and is on view from June 3 to July 30, 2017. The Garden will then go on tour to additional national and international venues whose dates will be confirmed in the next few months