– Autumn/Winter 2003
Modern Future Past Park: On a Plan for Escape by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
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If you took a walk in Kassel's Karlsaue gardens during Documenta11 you were likely to come upon Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's park within the park. The artist had made a composition out of different architectural elements used in the design of modern parks; a scenario that, even though it blended in with its pastoral surroundings, seemed strangely out of place in these 18th-century manorial gardens. Rather, it had a modern atmosphere of a place somewhere in a Mediterranean or tropical climate.
The components of this environment were: a palm tree; an agave; a rose bush; a large lump of lava rock; a light-blue, flat, oval pool; a folding chair; a lamp post; a pink bench; a spherical, blue telephone box with the logo 'Telemar'; a field of square concrete tiles set into the lawn in a chessboard pattern; a path made of tiles; a long row of small stones; and a modernist windowless pavilion made of plain concrete and dynamically shaped due to the acute angles of its geometric outlines. The pavilion had a light box on one side (showing a graphic map of the park) and a transparent screen onto which a film was projected from the inside of the building. The film, which could only be discerned after dark, consisted of a montage of images from the park scenario itself cross-faded with sequences from films such as Antonioni's La Notte or Blow Up in which actors either perform against the backdrop of a park or cool, modernist architecture.
The most striking aspect of the park environment was that it could be instantly grasped as a coherent whole despite the fact that it consisted of more-or-less unrelated elements
Sartoris makes this statement in an interview in the documentary La Memoria di un Secolo (1994) by Andreas Pfaeffli and Elda Guidinetti.↑
Joan Ramón Resina, 'The Concept of After-Image and the Scopic Apprehension of the City', in Joan Ramón Resina and Dieter Ingenschay, After-Images of the City, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2003, pp.1-22↑