EVEN WHEN FALL IS HERE started as an unexpected, casual invitation; sitting on a bench talking, facing the garden, amongst colorful flowers.
By intuition, I proposed a sound installation, a polyphonic choir within the garden. Through a long process, almost two years and a half, not only a project was developed, but a great, deep and subtle friendship was created within the three collaborators: Eloísa Haudenschild, Chris Shea and me.
The project was established through continuous dialogues and visits to the garden in La Jolla. Using landscape artist Chris Shea’s log as a departing point for creating a music score and later his incredible photographic work on the different species included in the garden, a color abstraction code was created to interpret this two year long catalogue of the garden into a geometric structure of colors and voids, representing the changing cycles of the flowers through the seasons, in a drawing installation.
Finally, all this visual language was transported into a 6 channel audio and visual installation in the garden, showing the choreographic and sensual movements of Chris’s hands while exploring his garden. The six screens, as voices in a choir, sing together for creating an orchestral feeling in space: a polyphonic, polychromatic experience amongst the plants in the peaceful Haudenschilds' garden.
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 + 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 encounters 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 sunlights 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
About Erick Meyenberg
(b. Mexico City, 1980) Meyenberg studied visual arts at the National School of Fine Arts (ENAP). He was guest student at the University of Arts, Berlin (UdK Berlin), under the guidance of the German artist Rebecca Horn (2009). His work received the honorable mention, Centennial Award, at ZONA MACO (2011). Some of his individual exhibitions have included: The return of the dinosaur, Chopo Museum 2014, Back to the present, Arróniz Contemporary Art Gallery, Mexico City (2011); Das Ist Kein Fleisch, the Historic Center International Festival of Lights (FILUX) Alameda Art Laboratory (2013); Labor Berlin 2: Erick Meyenberg. Etude taxonomique-comparative entre les castes de la Nouvelle Espagne et celles du Mexique contemporain, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlín (2010). His work contemplates critical concepts such as identity, belonging, history, gender, race, modernity and progress.