Garden of Vigilant Clothes

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Garden of Vigilant Clothes, 2015 Ink On Paper © Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Akinci
Garden of Vigilant Clothes

Lijnbaansgracht 317
1017 WZ Amsterdam
November 27th, 2015 - January 15th, 2016
Opening: November 27th, 2015 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Museum Area
+31 (0) 20 638 0480
Tue-Sat 1-6
drawing, installation


After the recent presentation All the World’s Futures at the 56th Venice Biennale, where Gluklya exhibited her forty-three Clothes for Demonstration against False Election of Vladimir Putin2011-2015, AKINCI is proud to present her new Garden of Vigilant Clothes with a vibrant kickoff during Amsterdam Art Weekend. 

The multi-layered installation Garden of Vigilant Clothes is a spatial adaptation of Gluklya’s performance for the Lopukhin Garden in St. Petersburg, Gluklya’s native city. There, citizens have been fighting against the municipal government's plans to privatize the park and build a hotel where now a traditional wooden house—the former residence of 19th century philanthropist, humanist and educator Gromov—still stands. For Gluklya, the park is a place where art and society naturally meet. In the case of the disputed Lopukhin Garden, the nature of protest entwines itself with organic nature, a vital element in Gluklya’s Garden of Vigilant Clothes. She quotes Russian scholar and writer Dmitry Likhachev: “Nature is social in its own way,” and uses this as a starting point for an ongoing research on the  interconnection between botanic culture and human culture. In the Garden of Vigilant Clothes, Gluklya transforms this interaction into a symbolic reference for social relations. After all, we influence each other as we are influenced by nature, and as we influence nature on our own terms as well.

Balancing on the borders of art and humanism, public and private space, Gluklya considers both art and nature as a boundless environment for imagination and experiment, offering a potential to im‐ prove society. Together with students from the Padea School in St. Petersburg, she visualized her ideas by mounting long, vine‐like tubes from the windows of willing neighbors. The tubes, debouch‐ ing into a receiver and held against the student’s ears, gave a glimpse of sound coming from the apartments, directly connecting the public space with the private space. Later, when the neighbors came down to the garden, they could enjoy witnessing a version of their own life through the filter of an artist’s imagination.

For Garden of Vigilant Clothes, a similar act on smaller scale took place in Amsterdam. Curious neighbors living in apartments directly surrounding the gallery, allowed Gluklya to run the long tubes from the exhibition space up to their windows. A few of them agreed to give a small interview on camera, revealing something of their personal thoughts on art and society. One of the neighbors, Gluklya’s “bravest citizen,” even donated his red sweater to her artistic process, which she trans‐ formed into an object for the exhibition itself. Coming down into the gallery, neighbors can witness their living environment merging with Gluklya’s artistic intervention. At the same time, visitors be‐ come aware of the neighborhood directly surrounding the exhibition. As an echo to the Lopukhin Garden miles away, the gallery space itself becomes a garden of vigilance.

Special opening hours & highlights:

Opening Friday 27 November 5 - 8 pm
Performance and informal debate between Mirjam Westen & Gluklya

Saturday 28 November
open 12 - 8 pm

Sunday 29 November 12 - 6 pm
Robert-Jan Muller introduces Gluklya's book Factory of Found Clothes
from 1 - 3 pm

Introductions and credits:

Mirjam Westen is senior curator of contemporary art at Museum Arnhem as well as critic and editor in the field of contemporary art, gender and global art.

Robert-Jan Muller is art historian, critic and chairman of Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art (AICA).

'Garden of Vigilant Clothes' by Gluklya, a multi-layered installation at AKINCI, is a spatial adaptation based on a performance in St. Petersburg, commissioned by TOK and curated by Anna Bitkina for a public art project ‘Critical Mass’.
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