Makeshift Meadow

There is a lot of grass growing on Berlin's Unter den Linden this fall, but it is not on the wide boulevard or the nearby Tiergarten, it is in a makeshift factory created by artist Phoebe Washburn at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin. Known for her seemingly haphazard constructions made from recycled scrap and found materials, New York-based Washburn has applied her same aesthetic to the construction of a factory assembly line titled 'Regulated Fool's Milk Meadow.' The products of this makeshift agro-industrial factory are small plots of lush green grass that are used to create a sod roof for the factory itself. Transported by a series of inefficient yet perfectly functional gears, pulleys, and mechanical elements these small plots of earth are carried through the structure, which provides perfect growing conditions in the form of water, light and a 'gardener.' A completely closed system (the factory creates only for its own edification), the grass emerges plushy and green from its loving environment to be placed on the factory's roof where it soon dies exposed to the gallery environment--a place devoid of natural light and water. Is this an analogy? Maybe. In any case, Washburn's mediation on nature and technology is certainly a beautiful reflection on the inevitable cycle of growth and decay. The exhibition runs through October 14.