Németh Ilona: Úszó kertek

Ilona Németh: Floating Gardens

The new Kassel version of Ilona Németh’s Floating Gardens (2011) project is based on the concept of the Healing and Future Gardens floating on the Fulda River and is presented as part of the What Ifs and Why Nots project.

With the call published in the documenta fifteen’s newsletter, we are waiting for applications from those who take care of the gardens for 100 days during the documenta.

Ilona Németh is an artist, organizer, and curator based in Slovakia. lumbung member OFF-Biennale Budapest invited her to participate in documenta fifteen. Németh’s artistic contribution The Floating Gardens revolves around her main interests: active interaction between a work and its viewers, and the dialogue between nature and society.

Two floating objects from polypropylene serve as islands for the two gardens, which are 3.5 by 4.5 meters in size each. They float on the Fulda River at Bootsverleih Ahoi from Wednesday, June 15 until Sunday, September 30, 2022. Németh created the first version of the floating gardens in 2011 in Hungary, Budapest, applying two remarkable examples from the history of garden design: the French and the English style.

The floating gardens are available to rent for free!

For documenta fifteen Németh reuses the floating objects from 2011 and transforms them into the Future Garden and the Healing Garden. In The Future Garden grow plants that clean the soil of certain toxic substances and plants that have adapted to the recent weather changes caused by climate change. The Healing Garden consists of herbs and vegetables which benefit from each other’s company. Each garden needs another kind of care, because the plants are different and the rules of their coexistence are not identical either. Each garden is an ecosystem. Its maintenance requires cooperation between the carer and the cared for.

The two small gardens (the Future Garden and the Healing Garden) on the Fulda River at Bootsverleih Ahoi in Kassel are to rent for free from Wednesday, June 15 until Sunday, September 30, 2022.

The gardeners take care of the floating gardens during documenta fifteen by keeping the plants, the shapes, and the concepts of the gardens while enjoying the benefits of having and maintaining these particular garden-islands.


Documenta fifteen