Wednesday 30 December 2009. Part of ADA's Cabinet.
From December 30th, 2009 until January 3rd, 2010, ADA participated in the TENT. Rotterdam project Florida, taking place at 't Gemaal, Rotterdam. The project served as research into the cultural infrastructure of Rotterdam South. For this reason TENT. invited four initiatives; ADA, NAC, De Player and Sensational Mix to participate.
Each initiative was invited to take over the space of 't Gemaal for the duration of one week. On its turn, ADA created a winter garden. People were invited to view the surrounding botanical display and to use the garden for coming together, meeting, talking, relaxing and reflection. The garden formed a thematic point of departure for a number of activities. Permanently on display was a diaporama in which Swedish artist Matts Leiderstam talked about his work. In a collaborative effort a Winter Garden reader was compiled. Please order your copy here.
Whilst preparing dinner for her family, Deirdre M. Donoghue presented the viewer with a talk on the history of gesture studies and her own research interests evolving around language, gesture and becoming. All at once she prepared meatballs and mashed potato, presented visual material, and became interrupted by her children walking in and out of the kitchen, at times demanding her attention, at times joining in in the activities. By setting herself this physically demanding task of giving an artist’s-talk while preparing her family a meal, she made transparent the conditions of the artistic production of many female artists. Rather than separating the two different roles; the role of an artist and the role of a mother, she allowed them to collapse together in the video performance entitled Kitchen Lecture: Notes On Gesture.
Fragments of nature captured in an interior, particularly when they are alien or exotic, provide pleasure to its occupants. When brought indoors, nature imposes its own character and order, and the interior typically concedes in a fundamental way to its contents, and loses much of its substance. The story of such an interior is bound up with Enlightenment-born ideas regarding the categorization, possession and domination of the world’s natural contents. The nineteenth century witnessed an explosion of expressions of these ideas, which yielded the various building typologies we continue to be familiar with: the crystal palace, the arcade, the department store, the mall, and the atrium.
In his illustrated lecture entitled Interior Arcadias, Mark Pimlott gave an account and a critical appraisal of the interior’s embrace of nature, from its first grand expression at the 1851’s Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace to its commonplace manifestations in shopping centres, airports, and corporate office buildings. The story of these interiors is intertwined with those of the development of cities in modernity, their innovations, entrapments and the public spaces with which they are most identified.
The Symbolics of Swimming Pools in Classical Cinema
In her talk The Symbolics of Swimming Pools in Classical Cinema, Margo Onnes reflected on some of the most well known swimming pool scenes from classical cinema that inspired her for her short film Muze. Scenes from La Piscine (1969), The Swimme (1968), Diabolique (1955), Cat People (1942) and Sunset Boulevard (1950) all depict the swimming pool as a dark place in the subconscious of the stories’ protagonists. In these deeply psychological dramas the swimming pool functions as a foreboding enigma; “One can hardly get a grip on what precisely is going on between the main characters, but it is obvious that something really bad is going to happen. It seems as if the answers to the characters secret’s are to be found somewhere deep down in the pool.” –Margo Onnes.
Poetrying was a collaboration between the artist duo SKART from Belgrade (RS) and Maja Bekan, P for Performance (NL). For this unique ‘open mike’ poetry reading in the winter garden at ‘t Gemaal, P for Performance appropriated SKARTS’s monthly event Poetrying (Pesnicenje), a poetry reading.
Music for the Plants
In 1973, Dorothy Retallack published a small book called The Sound of Music and Plants. Her book detailed experiments that she had been conducting with plants. Mrs.Retallack discovered astonishing results. By playing music through speakers for plants, she discovered how music influenced the growth of these plants. When she played soothing ‘middle-of-the-road’ music to one group of plants, and rock music and no music at all to two other groups for three hours a day, she noticed drastic differences. After a while, the plants that had to listen to the ‘soothing’ music were much bigger and greener than the ‘silent plants’, while the ‘rock plants’ were dying. The ‘middle-of-the-road music plants’ were even growing towards the speakers, while the ‘rock plants’ were bending the opposite way. To ease the stay of the plants in ‘t Gemaal, Gerwin Luijendijk played soothing songs especially written for the plants.“It is good to let people enjoy the beauty of plant life, but what about the plants themselves?” –Gerwin Luijendijk.
The winter garden was beautifully made by GREENHOUSE, groenverhuur en decoraties.