Garden as Contradictory Utopian Space/Research Project

Rosalind Masson (GB/DE) & Florence Freitag (DE)

TANZPAKT Dresden Research Residency with the Botanical Garden of TU Dresden

The research question behind this residency was inspired by a 2019 exhibition titled after Hieronymus Bosch’s 1500’s masterpiece ‘Garten der Irdischen Freuden’ at Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin.  The exhibition dealt with the Anthropocene in relation to  topics such as seed politics, legacies of colonialism and historical segregation. The exhibition examined the garden as a place of duality and contradiction: between harmony and chaos, exclusion and inclusion, utopia and dystopia. Further investigation led to the problematics behind the term Anthropocene and the discovery of dark ecologist Timothy Morton’s term subscendence. Subscendence simply put means the whole is lesser than the sum of it’s parts. Somatic practices amongst other things, facilitate a subscendence of body, allowing the experiencer to access a cellular, neural and and metabolic level of listening and understanding. Facing climate extinction, how do somatic practices allow us to re-situate ourselves as a part of a symbiotic community of plants and why is consciously breathing an act of radical resistance? 

Due to travel restrictions in place because of COVID-19, Rosalind Masson and collaborator, performer and multi-media artist Florence Freitag, are involved in a long dist/dance residency with the Botanical Garden of TU Dresden with their main research partner, scientific curator Dr. Barbara Ditsch. Rosalind is currently working from the Obermühle Görlitz where she lives and gardens. Florence began her residency in Berlin – accompanied by 21 green indoor companions and a huge Feld. The public are invited to gather the results of this research at Hellerau – European Centre for the Arts in Dresden on Saturday 20th of June 2020: https://www.hellerau.org/en/event/anthologie-des-botanischen-gartens/

Rosalind Masson: https://rosalindmasson.blogspot.com/
Florence Freitag: https://florencefreitag.tumblr.com/