Before we moved into this house, well, having never lived in a house, we really didn’t know the first thing about gardens, our own private landscapes had been overgrown for a decade if house means a place with grounds and surrounding foliage, if foliage can be overcome with arches, terraces and time spent around bodies, of water.
During the first confinement last summer in Zurich, Lhaga Koondhor and Marie Matusz nurtured a pond in the latter’s backyard. They hosted friends who hadn’t seen each other in months, they shared meals and drinks, they reimagined futures, apocalyptic fantasies.
By which way does one arrive here again, the landscape unfamiliar and intentionally so.
Upon first examination, a visitor comes upon an archway erected, seemingly by the garden itself. Different species of flora overtake the damned thing, once a symbol of bourgeois control over well, what we should have done long ago, manicured lawns and backyards, a garden secret in its ubiquity. Staying with the Trouble (2021) can be seen as a ruin and as a portal depending on it’s perceiver. This piece is an exercise in real sculpture, real as in hidden in plain site as in it is overcome and overencumbered both by its surroundings, more greenery, and its superimposed inhabitants, locally sourced plants and flowers. This gesture is not unfamiliar to those who maintain their grounds, yet is flipped on its head. Here we find a twisted roller coaster ride into a murkier predicament, you cannot enter this entryway, at least not in the traditional sense, the neighborhood cat Liquida might jump through it every now and again, but who knows.
When our reflection grows layer by layer on the pond’s surface at the heart of this grove, one remembers loving the ground beneath their feet. Going alongside how cropping up here is a sin, we’re given little in the way of advice on how to get along with the local wildlife, one knows what they’re doing here and does so innately, it's not just, well it's not just what we’ve done up until now, communing with the things that grow up and around back here.
The pond, Feelings don’t sink (2021) has been here for ages, not in body language but subtext, the overgrowth is evolving, ricocheting around a new structure, perhaps more natural than the first. These fragments lay fractal over the beaten edges of one or more vehicles for a much needed and unusual summer of post confinement, what’s supposed to overwhelm us back here, as an artist community, as friends across cities, is the ability to activate this piece in our sharing, both amongst ourselves and with the local fauna. In trusting her patience, well, one could be fooled, this artwork exists outside of a traditional art market in as such it exists outside of the confines of the bank who owns this land, in that, the only way they could really act onto this piece is by filling it up and tossing away the key so to speak, but wouldn’t that just be a further engagement with it and thereby one last activation? In any case the artists have played a trick as convoluted as the initial structure’s axis, further tying the works through the rubble of the yard's former dividing line, for they rooted up fencing that separated the households a few weeks prior.
Turning the lights onto our scene on what might be its last Summer, it never felt so filled, smoke fell through the orifices of the reflections in the pond, and it felt seen.
Cherish would like to thank Fondation Nestlé pour l’Art and Fonds Cantonal d’Art Contemporain - Genève for their support.
Cherish and the artists would like to thank Tristan Gigon, Basile Dinbergs, Ted Häring, Luna Mahoux and Liquida.