Variegata Plant Folly @ The Venice Biennale

when June - November 2011  where 54th Venice Biennale, Giardini, Venice  with Production: Kim van der Hoeven, Eric Roelen, Klaar van der Lippe. Commissioned by Mondriaan Stichting, curator Guus Beumer.  link  

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For the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale Ernst van der Hoeven designed the front yard of the Dutch pavilion. The centre of his proposal is an étagère, a three dimensional octagonal garden bed, showing hundreds of plants with different leaf shapes in a rich collection of old terra cotta pots. Special attention is given to the ornamental beauty of the variegated cultivar, this originally outcome of an ‘aestheticized’ virus, is now popular in many plant species and cultivars.
With this folly-like intervention Van der Hoeven refers to the 19th-century architecture of entertainment and the idea of display that was related to issues of nationality and renewal, characteristic for all major (world) exhibitions at that time.
More practical this carefully positioned folly restores the original frontal entrance to the pavilion designed by modernist architect Gerrit Rietveld.

Opera Aperta / Loose Work
Van der Hoeven’s work is part of the exhibition Opera Aperta / Loose Work in the Dutch pavilion.
“Guus Beumer has been the director of Marres, the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht since 2005. Since 2006, he has also served as artistic director of NAiM/Bureau Europa in Maastricht. As curator of the Dutch pavilion, Beumer has chosen the infrastructure of the Netherlands for visual art as a framework. Working in close concert, the participants will create a joint presentation using their own expertise and experience. The collaboration is intended to lead to a specific exhibition model, in which the methodology of the opera serves as a point of reference: in opera, various disciplines (music, design) and functions (dramaturge, director) come together to produce a single end-result.”