Artist’s Garden by Asunción Molinos Gordo

IN TRANSIT: Botany of a Journey

IN TRANSIT: Botany of a Journey by Asunción Molinos Gordo is the second Artist’s Garden commission at Jameel Arts Centre. Alongside the Jameel’s seven gardens designed by Anouk Vogel is a plot reserved for artist’s to cultivate and experiment, via an annual commission.

IN TRANSIT: Botany of a Journey consists of a garden grown from seeds that have travelled in the intestines of people that either live in or visit the city of Dubai. Most of the seeds we eat in our daily meals pass unnoticed and survive the process of human digestion, leaving our bodies undamaged and remaining germinable. Dubai as a global city and the business hub of the Middle East receives an average of 90 million travellers a year, coming from 270 destinations, across six continents. The culinary habits of such a heterogeneous population are incomparable; all of the seeds ingested by Dubai’s fluid and transient population make their way to the same location — the city’s main sewage treatment plant in Al-Aweer. If given the appropriate conditions, the seeds contained in the plant’s final, clean ‘sludge’ will germinate and grow into adult plants.

Asuncion’s Artist’s Garden is grown from the seeds that survive. The project reflects on ideas around globality, interconnectivity, mobility and cohabitation, and challenges the nature-culture divide that places human activity as a separate category from other natural phenomena; through the artist’s long-term research and the germination of the seeds, Asuncion redraws a way back to human/nature interconnectedness.

IN TRANSIT: Botany of a Journey is commissioned and produced by Art Jameel and has been developed with support and advice from Dubai Municipality, American University of Sharjah, Sia Landscaping, Al Zahra Farm, Proscape LLC and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) (through the programme for the Internationalisation of Spanish Culture (PICE), in the framework of the mobility grants).

Accompanying Asunción Molinos Gordo’s Artist’s Garden is a new publication, IN TRANSIT: Botany of a Journey. The book includes an overview of the innovative project, followed by a conversation between the artist and curator Andrea Pacheco González. Available from Art Jameel Shop.

About Asunción Molinos Gordo

Asunción Molinos Gordo (b. 1979, Aranda de Duero, Burgos, Spain) is a research-based artist strongly influenced by disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. In her practice she questions the categories that define ‘innovation’ in mainstream discourses today, working to generate a less urban-centric way of understanding progress.

The main focus of her work is contemporary peasantry. Her understating of the figure of the small or medium farmer is not merely as food producer but as a cultural agent, responsible for both perpetuating traditional knowledge and for generating new expertise. She employs installation, photography, video, sound and other media to examine the rural realm driven by a strong desire to understand the value and complexity of its cultural production, as well as the burdens that keep it invisible and marginalised.

She has produced work reflecting on land usage, nomad architecture, farmers’ strikes, bureaucracy on the territory, the transformation of rural labour, biotechnology and global food trade.

Molinos Gordo won the Sharjah Biennial Prize 2015 with her project WAM (World Agriculture Museum) and represented Spain official section at the 13th Havana Biennial 2019. Her work has been exhibited at venues including V&A Museum (London), Delfina Foundation (London), ARNOLFINI (Bristol), The Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Darat Al Funun (Amman), Tranzit (Prague), ART BASEL Miami Beach (US), Cappadox Festival (Uchisar-Turkey), The Finnish Museum of Photography (Helsinki), Museo Carrillo Gil (Mexico), MAZ Museo de Arte de Zapopan (Mexico), MUSAC (León, Spain), CA2M (Madrid, Spain), CAB de Burgos (Spain), Matadero (Madrid, Spain) and La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain), among others.

She obtained her B.F.A. from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where she also pursued her Master in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice. She is currently studying Anthropology and Ethnography at UNED (Spain).

Molinos Gordo is represented by Travesia Cuatro gallery and lives between Spain and Egypt.





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