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Kris Verdonck's Garden installation EXOTE Ecozoic wanderlust at the edge of Eden

Sofie Verdoodt (UGent) and Christel Stalpaert (UGent)
(2012) PERFORMANCE RESEARCH. 17(4). p.106-110
Author
Organization
Abstract
Thomas Barry, author of The Dream of the Earths, suggests that our civilization is moving into an ecozoic, rather than an ecological era. While ecology merely refers to an understanding of our life systems and their integral relations, the term ecozoic (zoic bering derived from the Greek zoe meaning life) also conveys the feeling of an immediate, biological reality. This paper puts EXOTE (2011), the latest creation of Flemish theatre maker and visual artist Kris Verdonck, within the context of ecozoic art. EXOTE is an indoor garden that has been planted on the first floor of the Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt. It houses species that have been defined by the European Union as ‘invasive alien species’; they thrive outside their natural distribution area, threaten biological diversity and hence have a devastating impact on ecology. Verdonck selected a number of these species and brought them together in one big luminous garden. The garden of Eden that turns ‘sick’ in the end – putting together invasive species in a confined space is an experiment of biological wars and battles of survival – is a metaphor for sick contemporary humanity. Intense worldwide trade has introduced several species into new habitats, allowing them to invade the local fauna. In this sense, this interactive installation and the performative walking of its visitors allude to the malaise of overproduction and consumption. Verdonck’s garden is in that sense a hortus contemplationis: a garden that triggers a reflexive response to utilitarianism and resource exploitation, communicating an ecological consciousness, by means of conveying an immediate, biological reality.
Keywords
Kris Verdonck, Ecology, Theatre, Performance

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Citation

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Chicago
Verdoodt, Sofie, and Christel Stalpaert. 2012. “Kris Verdonck’s Garden Installation EXOTE Ecozoic Wanderlust at the Edge of Eden.” Performance Research 17 (4): 106–110.
APA
Verdoodt, S., & Stalpaert, C. (2012). Kris Verdonck’s Garden installation EXOTE Ecozoic wanderlust at the edge of Eden. PERFORMANCE RESEARCH, 17(4), 106–110.
Vancouver
1.
Verdoodt S, Stalpaert C. Kris Verdonck’s Garden installation EXOTE Ecozoic wanderlust at the edge of Eden. PERFORMANCE RESEARCH. 2012;17(4):106–10.
MLA
Verdoodt, Sofie, and Christel Stalpaert. “Kris Verdonck’s Garden Installation EXOTE Ecozoic Wanderlust at the Edge of Eden.” PERFORMANCE RESEARCH 17.4 (2012): 106–110. Print.
@article{3007515,
  abstract     = {Thomas Barry, author of The Dream of the Earths, suggests that our civilization is moving into an ecozoic, rather than an ecological era. While ecology merely refers to an understanding of our life systems and their integral relations, the term ecozoic (zoic bering derived from the Greek zoe meaning life) also conveys the feeling of an immediate, biological reality. This paper puts EXOTE (2011), the latest creation of Flemish theatre maker and  visual artist Kris Verdonck, within the context of ecozoic art. EXOTE is an indoor garden that has been planted on the first floor of the Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt. It houses species that have been defined by the European Union as {\textquoteleft}invasive alien species{\textquoteright}; they thrive outside their natural distribution area, threaten biological diversity and hence have a devastating impact on ecology. Verdonck selected a number of these species and brought them together in one big luminous garden. The garden of Eden that turns {\textquoteleft}sick{\textquoteright} in the end -- putting together invasive species in a confined space is an experiment of biological wars and battles of survival -- is a metaphor for sick contemporary humanity. Intense worldwide trade has introduced several species into new habitats, allowing them to invade the local fauna. In this sense, this interactive installation and the performative walking of its visitors allude to the malaise of overproduction and consumption. Verdonck{\textquoteright}s garden is in that sense a hortus contemplationis: a garden that triggers a reflexive response to utilitarianism and resource exploitation, communicating an ecological consciousness, by means of conveying an immediate, biological reality.},
  author       = {Verdoodt, Sofie and Stalpaert, Christel},
  issn         = {1352-8165},
  journal      = {PERFORMANCE RESEARCH},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {106--110},
  title        = {Kris Verdonck's Garden installation EXOTE Ecozoic wanderlust at the edge of Eden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2012.712248},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2012},
}

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