So I’ve been thinking about the garden as a living installation a lot lately. I mean the garden is a lot of things, but what interests me is this whole thing being art and what that means. You see I am ‘curating’ this herbal commons as a living installation, as a social art practice, as a record. By curating I mean I am gardening, meeting, organizing, thinking, discussing, building relationships and learning.
Here are some of my latest thoughts:
There are three spaces that the People’s Apothecary occupies.
The first is a physical space that can be entered, viewed and interacted with. This consists of a herb garden commons planted by the Green Tongues Collective with aid from the community. Based on principles of permaculture and holistic herbal practices the garden seeks, through art to negotiate new relationships between artist/viewer/nature. Similar work can be seen in the Means of Production Community Garden a garden where artist materials are grown which hosts artist residencies and Grow (if you can get past the whole part of the Olympics aspect) which explored “sustainability issues through a series of walks, workshops and creative experiments in urban agriculture” hosted by local artists.
The second is a social space made up of the human interactions within a community and the relationships negotiated in the creation of the People’s Apothecary. From the first conversations to formulate the concept to the gathering of people to grow herbs together and mulch the earth there are an infinite number of relationships and interactions. These interactions are between people as well as with our bodies. Through coming together to create, learn and grow, healthy relationships are nourished and explored outside of normalized capitalist systems that isolate us from one another. This aspect takes on themes similar to works by the social art practice of Zoe Kreye.
The final space is that of remnants, the record of a collective process. This final space exists in documentation, minutes taken, fragments of brainstorms, receipts, photographs, audio recordings. It is our intention that these documents will be exhibited within the Slide Room Gallery much as the documentation of a performance may be considered. This piece in the gallery is inspired by Luis Jacob’s “Anarchist Free School Minutes”.
While these three spaces in which The People’s Apothecary exists can be considered as separate and categorization is helpful in discussing and understanding it is also important to recognize that the People’s Apothecary exists in all of these spaces simultaneous in all its complexity and contradictions….