Monday, March 8, 2010

Consolation Prize

I won't hesitate to admit that an art project in the form of a garden can seem, um, just like a garden. Where is the art in a garden? One judging these things must be open to the possibility that it is there, in the details, in the signs, in the context, in the attention, in the act, in the doing, in the being, in there, wholly.

Most of the grown food was to be donated to local pantries in the Rockaways (there are several). It was only going to be in place for one year, and unlike many of the plots -it was going to be well maintained. In general, I was interested in placing this form of interacting with nature in the context of Park (capital 'P' intended). Parks for looking, parks for strolling, parks for throwing balls around -what about parks for gardening? Seems a stretch? Maybe not so much? My proposal was 8 pages long, but I won't drag it out here. You probably get it now, or don't.

On a more personal level, I found this garden to be beautiful, if a bit forlorn. Mostly it is the light, diffused by the salt haze air, washing out the green of weeds. I wanted to do something, to return with purpose, to grow a deeper connection to the place, not simply be a spectator. I wasn't certain how my formal sensibilities would alter the feeling of the place, positive or negatively. I did want to find out.

Below is the rather administrative response to my project. I never applied for a plot in the manner requested by the park (paperwork still on my desk), having sent my proposal directly to one of the head administrators, after having a conversation with her on the phone.

The consolation.

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If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...