Drawn by her interest in history and architecture and by the ambiguity emerging from modernist utopias, Belgian artist Sophie Nys travelled to Rio de Janeiro in January 2012 to shoot the film Parque do Flamengo, a semi-documentary whose protagonist is the park of the title, and particularly the work of its landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx. At once a painter, a sculptor, a poet and a botanist, Roberto Burle Marx is known as one of the finest landscape architects of the twentieth-century. Parque do Flamengo, which will have its Belgian premiere at La Loge, is a 45-minute long uncut travelling shot which captures the whole of the park as an isolated entity. The camera crosses the space from end to end at a walking pace, the stroll’s route following the park’s curving and sensual lines. The film is a physical and plastic portrait of the place, a recording of a living, breathing space where culture and nature merge.
Musician Arto Lindsay composed the soundtrack for the film using the list of plants featured in the park as a starting point for this new composition. A selection of these same plants will also be featured in the show, but in their most minimal form: in the photograms of the seeds.
Faithful to her artistic practice, Sophie Nys develops a project that, under a minimalist conceptual rigour, succeeds in playfully, almost intuitively, capturing the poetry and the absurdity of nature in a frame. Never objective but always precise, Sophie Nys’s work discards historical and scientific linearity in favour of an approach based on intuitive research and free associations.
Curated by Anne-Claire Schmitz
This exhibition was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium and the Escritório Burle Marx.