Prints, photos, drawings (31 cm x 21 cm, framed 33 cm x 22 cm), installation 7 m x 2 m x 2,2 m
Project Paradise is the result of impulses which a modern individual is faced with on a daily basis. More accurately, the artwork stems from a personal inclination for work in the countryside. A rather incidental need to cultivate one’s »own« vegetables has with a synchronized cultivation of various garden sorts grown into almost meditative horticultural seances. This evolved into an almost escapist need to »escape«, to withdraw from one’s daily environment back to nature where it is possible to find refuge during the weekends.
The main motive of the project is a tomato fruit that entered our region in the time of invading new continents in the beginning of the 16th century and gradually became a part of our daily diet. Tomato became its part very early, in spite of the fact that the old Europeans at first saw it as toxic and cultivated it as a decorative culture.
Today, the information about the origin of nutrients on our plate and the way of their growing very often misses us. We simply buy and consume. This is why catastrophic fears capture many people. The basic intention of my experimenting with garden plants is thus to eat healthy food and to know that its growing excludes the use of artificial substances and pesticides. As an artist, I wish to attain foods foremostly by myself, the physical work is also done by me alone, trying to use water resources with great care. Regular drives to the field garden outside of Ljubljana present a relative cost but demand no real effort, this is why I hold on to this routine steadily.
In Paradise, a visual intervention of lines turns the photodocumented blooming fruit into an abstract new image. Along with the figure of the fruit in the glasshouse, another part of the series include drawings of the sketched hotbed construction which was designed with the help of my father – now, hotbed comprises of almost 18 square meters of soil and involves cultures of yellow capsicum, mangold, green salad, onion, leek, basil etc.
Contemporary human, like the pioneering conquerors of the unknown territories and the visionary thinkers of a more appropriate social order, tries to broaden the boundaries of the discovered just as well – but the collateral sides of his striving can be felt as well. New problems arise: the purity of the tradition (agriculture) and the marketing of substitutes (genetically altered agricultures) contradict on the ideological plane, while the social policy of »open doors« (sociocultural exchange) appears as utopian since it conflicts with an ongoing misunderstanding and opposition of the people.
Paradise tries to explore the artistic autonomy as a strategic activity, in its foreground presenting a plant: a tomato which was acquired in the long gone colonnial past. From then, the social context of the world changed to the extent where even art needs to recognize that human (military) might is a utopian idea and that one needs to give it up. The prevailing strength is the might of nature.