April 1 – May 13, 2018
In November 2017 I collected a plant from the garden of a mass shooter.
April 1 – May 13, 2018
The property is part of a development that was built just a few years ago. To the west, a long stretched plateau rises up at the edges of which a steep slope merges into the slightly hilly plain in which the property lies. To the east it is bounded by a ditch, possibly a riverbed, that only carries water at certain times. The landscape is rocky and rugged, with many incisions and ridges. The finger-like foothills of the plateau are largely cut off from the newly constructed streets and subdivision. Plant growth is only sporadic. The predominant color is the sandy to brownish, reddish color of the sedimentary rock.
The property is located at the northern end of a subdivision. With a little imagination, the outline of the subdivision, with its single-family homes, resembles a sitting figure, hiding behind a wall in order not to be seen. The property is located at the figure’s head.
It lacks a garden in the front to collect the energy and to guide it into the house. Harmonic and vital energy needs the interchange between movement and collection; powerful and vital plants, water and flowing shapes can have this effect. Too much withdrawing energy means a weakening of the dynamics of the inhabitants.
The backyard’s bland appearance is striking. Obviously, little effort was put into backyard landscaping. Many plants, especially in the front area of the house, have a pointy, prickly shape. Prickly plants can have a off-putting and aggressive effect. The entire garden consists of coarse gravel and only some small bushes were planted seemingly at random. It is noticeable that unlike other backyards in the surrounding area, it lacks elements such as paths, green areas and larger plants. One can also see individual dead plants that have not been removed, representing a weakening of liveliness — another sign of the garden’s deliberate spare and defensive appearance. A solution could be to try and harmonize the described imbalances as far as possible given the circumstances. For instance to expand the front by means of landscaping and to collect the energy in the backyard by planting large trees to gently guide the energy through the the entire garden.
Martin Roth (b. 1977, Graz, Austria) lives and works in New York, NY. He received his MFA from Hunter College in 2011. Roth has exhibited widely internationally including Austrian Cultural Forum, New York, NY; The Artist’s Institute, New York, NY; Museum of Natural History, Graz, Austria; Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Berlin, Germany; Louis B. James, New York, NY; CAPITAL, San Francisco, CA; Centro Arte Contemporaneo, Murcia, Spain; mumok, Vienna, Austria. Roth’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artnews, The Brooklyn Rail, Monopol Magazine, Hyperallergic, Creators Vice, Modern Painters, Artinfo, and Architectural Digest