August 7 – October 23, 2022

 

Barthélémy Toguo: Faith Can Move Mountains

 


Opening: Sunday, 7 August 2022, 11 am


Barthélémy Toguo (*1967) has been focusing in his artistic practice on highly topical issues of identity and social belonging, migration, flight, displacement, and those restrictions that stem from territorial borders and politics regarding sovereign rights. Against the background of his dual Cameroonian-French citizenship, he thereby explicitly adopts a non-Eurocentric approach. He is above all concerned about the causes of ecological problems and their impact on society: drinking and industrial water shortages, maldevelopments in agriculture, the effects of climate change, corruption, armed conflicts or lack of economic development prospects.


In his works – ranging from painting, drawing, sculpture, and performance to installation – he connects intrinsic human essentiality with nature while at the same time embracing humanitarian catastrophes. ”What guides me is a constantly evolving aesthetic, but also a sense of ethics, which makes a difference and structures my entire approach.” On display are works created especially for the Esslingen exhibition, remakes as well as adapted installations, which are reserved for the ground floor of the Villa Merkel, while a retrospective overview of the artist's work answers on the upper floor.




Since February 2019

 

BELLE & APHRODITE

 

Augmented Reality

by Barbara Herold


In the app BELLE & APHRODITE for smartphone or tablet, it is possible to experience a walk-in audio-visual metamorphosis of virtual plants.

The 3D plant BELLE extends across the entire Merkelpark. As an interactive form-cloud, it leads visitors, on the basis of data regarding their location and movement, to a virtual rose at the centre of the park.

APHRODITE was designed for the skylit atrium. In recurrent audio-visual loops, the 3D installation develops into a Phalaenopsis, a familiar type of orchid. APHRODITE can be viewed from all perspectives and, in its overlapping of simulation space and actual space, plays with the experience of abstraction, proportional relationships, proximity and distance.


Barbara Herold (*1977) directs her attention to the shaping of reality through the media. She investigates structures and phenomena which have established themselves through the influence of media technology on society; she develops her own systems on the basis of prevalent design practices such as computation and algorithms. Her works arise in the dynamic field between analogue and digital technology.

 

Download App BELLE - APHRODITE

App Store & Google Play Store


Barbara Herold BELLE & APHRODITE, Seit Februar 2019

Since  May 18th, 2014

 

Lois Weinberger – Mobiler Garten


The ‘Mobile Garden’ of the artist and Documenta participant Lois Weinberger, was set up in front of the winter garden of the Villa Merkel, where it will remain for an extended time. In its wildness, it contrasts with the surrounding Merkelpark, whose well-kept greenery is reminiscent of English landscape gardens.


A field formed out of yellow plastic tubs filled with soil has been exposed to the free forces of nature. Over time, pioneer and ruderal plants have come to occupy the space in a spontaneous colonisation. Nature unfolds in accordance with the dynamism of its own laws in a veritably paradisal, because free manner. A Garden of Eden established itself.


Over the years, this natural process of colonisation began to change into a form of decaThe tubs gradually become bleached and decompose. The plastic particles blend with the soil and the plants; after decades, rainfall can be expected to have washed the underlying area clean again.

 

The garden is a fundamental form of our encounter with nature. We are familiar with gardens that aim at producing crops as well as those that are set up as beatific sites of contemplation. Affinities with paradise are possessed by the fruit and vegetable garden, the Baroque pleasure garden or, as an oasis amid the city, the public garden – in Esslingen, namely the Maille and the Merkelpark.


Lois Weinberger wässert den 'Mobilen Garten (2014)', Foto: Daniela WolfLois Weinberger, Mobiler Garten, 2014Lois Weinberger, Mobiler Garten, 2014 (Foto 2018)