Regula Dettwiler: Histoire naturelle du monde artificiel


November 2 – December 7, 2002

Project Description

In the last few years, Regula Dettwiler has been working on a project of natural history of the artificial world. The first phase of this research was an exploration of the ‘consumer’s jungles’ of shopping centres, collecting artificial flowers and plants made of plastic or silk. Then she would take them apart and make an illustration. These plates, according to the tradition of 19th century herbariums, were done with watercolours. Instead of underlining the number of stamens or sepals, the mandatory precision of the trade was concentrating on the traces of mould and the ‘made in’ labels of the various ‘species’.

After a stay in Montreal, in 2001, she became interested in the artificiality of natural reconstructions in shopping malls, and especially Monet’s garden at Complexe Desjardins. From the intemporality and awkwardness of this pseudo-natural site within a building, she made a serie of photographs, presented like film stills of a Sunday afternoon in the countryside. Pushing this artificiality of nature to its complete dematerialization, with a gardening program on her computer, she invites us to a stroll in a landscape without any real topography where, nevertheless, we will cross a bridge like Monet’s at Giverny.