Gilles Clément Artistic Creation (2011-2012)


Gardens, Landscape and "natural genius"

My professional practice integrates a global approach that includes design and creation of landscapes and gardens, writing and publication of related texts, and educational programs on this practice. The latter include conferences and exhibits, but also a "landscape project"-based course in an educational context, more specifically at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage in Versailles.

During my time at the Collège de France, I will present a synthesis of my teaching by referring to field experiences through a series of images directly related to the theme under discussion. As a result, this will be an image-based course.

The first three lectures will be devoted to three main concepts that have emerged from my research and projects - the Garden in Movement, the Planetary Garden, and Third Landscape. This approach gives pride of place to living things and focuses on the biological dimension of a landscape.

Subsequent lectures will reposition this aspect of the landscape in contrast to the fields of art, architecture, science, and speech to demonstrate how closely nature is interwoven with the artificial during the process of creating a landscape or garden.

Finally, this ensemble will be examined with respect to the economic context and the positions human societies adopt with respect to nature. The apparently contradictory combination of the tangible realities of the market and our intangible belief systems results in landscape construction wherever we may be on our planet.

Putting living things first represents the choice to align ourselves with ecological necessities. Others prefer to emphasize architecture, design, the ornamental, or the object, but in my own practice these things play only a minor role.

In seeking a balance with existing energies, and especially in light of the need to anticipate future living conditions, gardens and landscapes are to be imagined, created, tended, and taught in the light of what I call "natural genius".

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