Lawns and Hedges (Film screening)
23.07.13 / 19.00 - 21.00


Azael José María Franco Guerrero and one of its ‘living sculptures’ in Tulcán Cemetery, Ecuador.


Frontispiece to l'Abbé de Vallemont's Curiositez de la nature et de l'art (1705)

‘To the Commissioners of Central Park:
I have planned purposely to effect a double object. Not only to give a pleasing landscape, but also an instructive one. For amusement and instruction combined, certainly intensify each other. I propose then to lay off the southern half of the park in a miniature representation of the continents of the earth.’

Entry submitted by Lewis Masquerier in the 1858 competition to design Central Park
Unfortunately, no one would ever get the pleasure to stroll through Masquerier’s vision for Central Park, as Frederick Law Olmstead’s proposal would be the winning one. Yet nevertheless his vision for a landscape that would promise both pleasure and instruction is very much in line with the history of garden architecture. From the gardens of the antiquity, to the French and English landscape gardens and the park designs of Frederick Law Olmsted and Walt Disney, nature has been used to choreograph our physical movements and emotional states. This screening looks at landscaping as a process of cultivation, one that creates sites suspended between exercised control and escapist diversion whilst offering the potential for political subversion.

Nature is featured here as a manicured stage set that guides and hosts the theatrics of the human condition. The environment is reconsidered not just as a dramatic backdrop that illustrates the psychological condition, but also as an active player in the sculpting of social unconscious. The individual films are entwined within a scroll of still vignettes, interlacing imagery and rhythm to mimic the peripatetic nature of human perception.

Julia Rometti and Victor Costales, Plantas Populares – Movimiento: Agitato, 2013, 14'56"
Olga Chernysheva, Anonymous. Part 1 & 2, 2004, 19’
Deimantas Narkevicius, The Role of a Lifetime, 2003, 16'
Rosalind Nashashibi, Jack Straw’s Castle, 2009, 17'20"
Amy Granat, Landscape Film, 2009, 8'45"
TJ Wilcox, A Fair Tale (Extended Mix), 2006/2007 8’47”
Jessica Warboys, La Fôret de Fontainbleau, 2010, 4'

Programmed by Anna Gritz and Jennifer Teets in conjunction with South London Gallery.