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THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN
Acme Project Space - London 2015
For this exhibition Enqvist has harvested radical gardening references using them to create an environment for imaginary gardens. Each of Enqvist's layered references begins with a historical character, whose solitary obsession with gardens was inspired by a spiritual belief. The exhibition is a labyrinth of imagery and language, and at its centre is an invitation to create an imaginary garden through a hypnotic process. The title, taken from Leon Rosselson's folk song of the same name, references the 17th century movement the Diggers and introduces the concept that assumed knowledge can be 'turned upside down'.
The exhibition begins with evocative images: in one found image the wife of farmer and tree-shaper Axel Erlandson stands with an intricate geometric tree. In contrast, Enqvist's work 'Axel Erlandson' (2014) records (on scarce 16mm film) the trees after Erlandson's death. The branches have changed over time: straightened and rebelled without the work of the solitary sculptor, however they still retain their otherworldly allure.
Moving further into the exhibition imagery gives way to sound. In a darkened space, with a raised carpet, a voice carries a string of parallel metaphors. Inspired by the self-induced trances of the San Francisco Diggers and 18th century theologian Emanuel Swedenborg's 'correspondence' through gardens. 'Andramandoni' (2015) uses hypnotic language to discover what cannot be explored in imagery. Each listener finishes the narrative by building an image of his or her own garden.
Enqvist Further explores the lapse between image and language in 'Magellania' (2014). Intertwining narrated moments of darkness with silent footage the artist tells the story of Cristina Calderón, the last speaker of the Yaghan language. Referencing Jules Verne's final book, this essay film rethinks the colonisation of language and image, suggesting instead that 'silence is not passive.
Text by Curator Olivia Leahy