Plog - the Puttbill_Blog
Exhibition "Ein Leben lang" ("All your life") at the NGBK Berlin
In his lifetime, Arcimboldo (1527-1593) missed out on the opportunity to relinquish his own lavish portraits, consisting of fruits and flowers, to decay. Maybe he was just glad that the dark times of the Late Middle Ages, marked by the Black Death and recurring famines, were finally over and he had huge fun in capturing Vertumnus, the Roman god of transition and change, on his canvasses for all posterity. Not to belittle his Mannerist style, but as far as transition and change are concerned, his work leaves much to be desired. Had he been consequent, the end result (or even the starting point) of his works should have been decay and decomposition of every form, color, and structure, meaning entropy and soil. But Arcimboldo never composted the horticulturist. He died shortly before the vanitas still lifes with their allegoric objects and symbols of impermanence became popular during the Baroque period.
When I was recently (2008) walking past a pile of trash, something made me stop. With a slight premonition, I circled the waste to have a close look at it from all sides, yet I failed to notice anything special. However, I was precautious enough to take a photo of it in case I had overlooked something that would later catch my eye – when suddenly a hummingbird appeared out of thin air, chasing a bumblebee. Thunderstruck I stared at the display of the camera: There it was – the grave of the horticulturist!
"Ein Leben lang"
Opening on July 25, 2008, 7 p.m.
From July 26 to August 31, 2008
Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst e.V.
Artists: Birgit Brenner (DE), Baldur Burwitz (DE), Lenka Clayton & James Price (GB), John Coplans (US), Donigan Cumming (CA), Evelina Deicmane (LV) Regine von Felten (CH), Margi Geerlinks (NL), Peter Granser (DE), Friederike Kersten (DE), Felix Pestemer (DE), Annegret Soltau (DE), Miwa Yanagi (JP)
Info link (German):
- "Ein Leben lang" / NGBK
- Puttbill graphic serial 'Trash & Compost'