The Garden

Mary Babcock

Festivals: M:ST 6 Biennial | October 15 - 27, 2012.

In 1874, Joseph Glidden patented an invention that would forever change the face of the landscape — “devilʼs wire”. Legend states that his wife had encouraged him in her yearning to grow a garden — a paradise that would be preserved by walling in that which is desired and walling out “undesirables”. This wire has been used in every military engagement since. Yet in terms of tensile strength, steel is surpassed by silk.

Babcock’s install/action The Garden engages a tactile juxtaposition to explore the borderlands between apparent opposites — between comfort and agitation, between attraction and abhorrence, between danger and sanctuary. Over the course of the install/action, at times together in collaboration with viewers and at times in solitude, Babcock engages in a continuous silent action of transitioning the wires from their original gnarly twig-like state, to a sea of silken white; graceful and enticing, but nevertheless potentially treacherous.