Jardin Biologique #8 - Potager de resistance


The garden was planted in May 2009 in the courtyard of the Visual Arts Building of Concordia University in Montreal. Its works were on display throughout the summer in a showcase in the entrance of the building. Some are documented in photographs and video (see photographs and videos sections). The following is the statement that accompanied it.

The Jardin Biologique Number 8 is alive. It expresses itself and changes unpredictably and continuously. It cannot be controlled precisely yet it depends on us. I feed it and protect it a little. It feeds us. We share decisions but it has the last word. You can watch it transform, smell it and taste it. If you are quiet you can hear it. It needs to be watched patiently. It will disappear this winter and if we let it will return in the spring. It can emerge anywhere in the right environment and time where there is air, soil and water. It could grow in unusual places: abandoned city lots, roadsides, unused train tracts or even inserts itself into parks. It needs little attention and enjoys diversity.

I planted most of it in containers that I found in recycling bins. I constrained some vegetables in discarded plastic bottles. Most plants survive and flourish. Some rebel and break out of the containers. Some submit and shape themselves to the forms. They all show their scars, blemishes and are proudly unique. Their taste is full. Beauty is edible. It is the ones that you find at the supermarket that are the anomalies, the monsters with smooth inflated, blemish less skin and tasteless, pale unbruised flesh. The potager de resistance does not care about market economy and produces the most with the least for those close to it and mindful of their relationship with it.

Dr Legumes (on YouTube), a vegetables and fruits plastic surgeon, operates to free those trapped, albeit too late as they retain the shapes and scars of their constraints.

Some plants and vegetables continue their transformation as they dry out or decompose and putrefy. Some are frozen in time in photographs and sculptures. Nature recycles everything (including you). Resistance is futile. “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, all is transformation.” (Triennale Quebecoise 2008)

Pierre Leichner

December 2009