Monoculture

2020 (upcoming), Architect's House Gallery, Jaffa, Israel

Solo exhibition. Curator: Dana Gordon

Monoculture is a large-scale, mechanical installation which interprets current trends in urban development as a form of human habitat loss.

The humanist approach to urban planning, epitomized in the garden city movement, has served as the formative backdrop for western society in the early 20th century. This approach put individual wellbeing, socialization, and leisure at the forefront. It evolved as a counterpoint to the 19th century’s industrialized urban environment, which was concerned mainly with the individual’s role as an economic profit unit.

 

Toward the end of the 20th century, as human population skyrocketed and technological developments began to fundamentally change the human environment, the cities of the 20th century were rebuilt by the emerging society of the 21st century.

 

Monoculture deals with current trends in urban development, and the forces driving and shaping these trends. It contrasts the social, cultural and urban ideals of the Belle Epoque with the ideals and values shaping society and the urban landscape today. In raising this discussion, the work emphasizes the feedback loop formed between the environment that a society builds for itself, and the ultimate effect that environment has on the society living in it

Technically, the work consists of a rectangular plot of 500X200cm, on which a diverse multitude of flowering grasses is planted according to the urban grid of a specific neighborhood in a garden city. Over the course of the exhibition, a robotic mechanism relentlessly makes its way across the plot, applying a selective herbicide designed to eradicate any plant not of economic value. As the exhibition progresses a new urban grid is revealed, according to the urban renewal plan for the given city, planted in strict utilitarian cash-crop monoculture

Concept - gallery view, to scale.

Concept - start and end positions

Concept - progression, edge view

© 2019 by Ofer Grunwald

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