About supernatural gardens and the poetry of land – Lectures with landscape architect Annalisa Metta och curator Carl-Johan Olsson
Welcome to an evening with lectures on the theme gardens and landscapes.
Participants: Annalisa Metta, Italian professor in landscape architecture at Università Roma Tre and Carl-Johan Olsson, curator at the Swedish National museum.
18.00 i Färgfabrikens Main hall
’Supernatural’ literally indicates something above, outside or beyond nature. Generally, it designates something unusual, strange, inexplicable. It is because commonly we use natural to mean normal: natural is what meets expectations, it is logical, usual, certain. Thus, supernatural is somehow disturbing, just because it is not predictable and does not fit the standard of naturality and normality. Many contemporary gardens are currently rewriting the codes of design as ’supernatural’, in the sense of performative empowerment. They act something like seismographs, which reveal and amplify the agency of other than human forces, making them visible and legible, resorting to often minimal, yet powerful, interventions.
Annalisa Metta (b. 1977) is an architect, landscape architect and associated professor of landscape architecture at Università Roma Tre, where she teaches theory and design of landscape architecture. She coordinates the Master of Science Laboratory “Through the GRA. Projects for the Ring-City “. As the Italian Fellow in architecture at the American Academy in Rome (2016–2017), she performed the project Southward. When Rome Will Have Gone to Tunis.
The Poetry of Land
With Romanticism’s new view of nature, the artistic gaze changed fundamentally. They saw beauty and meaning in things that were previously considered ugly and meaningless. With the idea of the Spirit in nature, the outside world was understood down to its smallest parts as expressions of various kinds of divine perfection. One of the most interesting examples of this is the fascination for the land – for the soil, the plants and for the composition of the terrain. From these elements, 19th-century artists created a visual poetry where nature surprises the viewer as something almost supernatural.
Carl-Johan Olsson is curator of 19th-century paintings at the Swedish National Museum. He has curated exhibitions such as Danish Golden Age and Zorn – a Swedish Superstar. Right now he is working on an upcoming exhibition about 19th century Romantic painting.
Painting: Rousseau is Picking Flowers near Banc des vieillards, View from the Park inErmenonville. Alexandre Dunouy (ca 1800). Oil on paper, Nationalmuseum.