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Romantic Nature, Raw Cultivation, and Verticality in “Landscape as Cult”

Romantic Nature, Raw Cultivation, and Verticality in “Landscape as Cult”

Landscape as Cult. Courtesy Bureau Europa

In light of the moment that we are in, we have been thinking of the mediums we use to edit, create, and relate to architecture as well as the ways that we stay connected. Although many exhibitions have closed their doors to visitors, their values are still present and they can be experienced in different ways. We invite you to join us as we explore a variety of possibilities and perspectives. 

Taking both local Dutch contexts and global crises, “Landscape as Cult. A Changing View on Our Nature,” the exhibition conceived at Bureau Europa raises—and asks again—important questions around how we connect to nature today. The horizontal platform of landscape is perhaps no longer enough. What can we learn from verticality? Where does social media and technology come into play? Below is a text by the organizers that explores the questions and perspectives behind the exhibition.

Ph. Courtesy Bureau Europa

The exhibition “Landscape as Cult. A Changing View on Our Nature” puts the people/landscape and culture/nature relationships into sharp focus. The stage for our actions has always been the landscape around us, but have we almost outgrown this podium? Given the increasing awareness of our disastrous treatment of nature, are we still able—or willing—to feel connected to it? Or are we more inclined to attract the landscape towards us, or even to spend more time in nature? 

Is the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve a realistic representation of a typically Dutch landscape? How “Romantic” is our contemporary image of nature? Are we still self-reliant? Can technology and landscape architecture help us to reverse environmental decline? 

This exhibition pits the Romantic experience of nature against the raw reality of cultivation. Landscape architecture is traditionally a historical analysis: a spatial design that strikes the right balance between ecology, biodiversity, and culture. But what happens when instead of tackling the landscape horizontally you construct it vertically, from archaeology to satellite? What layers does it reveal and what meanings do we find embedded in the nature around us? 

Ph. Courtesy Bureau Europa

We examine our stewardship of planet Earth by looking at some notable figures who have changed our thinking forever, such as Eugene Dubois and Ian McHarg; by reflecting on the dying coral reefs as presented in Teatro Della Terra Alienata (Theatre of The Alienated Land), the prize-winning Australian pavilion at the Milan Architecture Triennale; and by critically reflecting on our societal image of nature.

Ph. Courtesy Bureau Europa

DATES: November 28, 2019 – May 3, 2020 / LOCATION: Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design /  FEATURING: Jean-Baptiste Castel  |  Benjamin Earl  |  Fabrique & Q42  |  Tracy Fullerton  |  Grandeza + Bajeza (Amaia Sanchez-Velasco, Jorge Valiente Oriol, Gonzalo Valiente &Miguel Rodriguez-Casellas, University of Technology Sydney)  |  Lodovica Guarnieri & Gabriela Baka  | Marie-José Jongerius  |  Chris Kore  |  Pascal Leboucq & Nieuwe Helden  |  Arjen de Leeuw  |  LOLA Landscape Architects & Piet Oudolf & Deltavormgroep  |  Next Architects & H+N+S Landscape Architects  |  Giacomo Nanni & Julian Peschel  |  RAAAF  |  Dirk Sijmons  |  Studio Marco Vermeulen  |  WEST8 / CURATOR:Saskia van Stein / CO-CURATOR: Remco Beckers / GRAPHIC IDENTITY: Nina van Tuikwerd  / TEXT: Intro, NESS; Text, edited from the press release by NESS.  

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