Even When Fall Is Here
August 11, 2018
Even When Fall is Here (2018) is a multimedia project by Mexican artist Erick Meyenberg inspired by the Haudenschilds’ garden in La Jolla, California. The work, commissioned by Eloisa Haudenschild, uses landscape designer Chris Shea´s two year working journal of the garden as a departing point for two works: a drawing installation and a multichannel audio and video installation in the garden.
The collaboration between Meyenberg, Shea and the garden followed a complex process of translations from which emerged a chromatic language. One hundred pages of a journal became a chromatic score made of 45 drawings that capture the rhythm of the garden through its colours. This apparently geometric and abstract exercise has another side to it. Meyenberg challenged himself to match Shea´s ability to recognize the singularity of the colour of each flower of the garden producing an exact corresponding colour in gouache and then freely incorporated silences to produce its own interpretation of the garden´s life flow. This chromatic language is further explored in the video in which Meyenberg follows Shea through a tour of the garden described solely by its colours. Meyenberg´s visual and audio edition produces a chromatic poem that unveils the deeply intimate and epidermic nature of this language. In Shea´s own words: one cannot see if one does not touch. But again this is not an abstract language, each flower dictates how it should be touched and Meyenberg offered Shea the aesthetic tools to let us in this deeply intimate, almost erotic dialogue.
In Michel Tournier´s version of Robinson Crusoe, Friday or The Other Island, Crusoe traverses different stages in his relationship with the island. One of the stages of this metamorphosis is of course the attempt to administrate and dominate the island (no surprises there) but there is another stage in which Crusoe turns her into his mate. He copulates with her and sees the fruit of this encounter in a new species of mandrake that he hadn´t seen before. One follows this process through the log of a man fighting not only with his solitude but with the implications of knowing that the whole civilization thinks that he is dead and therefore there is no Other to acknowledge his existence.
These two logs (Crusoe´s and Shea´s) share a provocation. To think of the possibilities opened by allowing oneself to be intimate with a non animal being. To make alliances with tireless sunlight seekers, beings that have not internalized death. To tune into another rhythm and therefore another temporality. Perhaps even to find an Other who has faith in our existence, even when fall is here.
-Alejandra Labastida, Associate Curator, MuAC, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico