The gesture of a tease must have originated from celestial bodies first toying with terrestrials who willingly acquiesced by way of retaliation. Thus, an age-old dynamic of endless play unfolds within the genre of cruelty. Where better to situate such activity, than in a garden? In its second presentation ‘Landesgartenschau 2020’ (Translation: State Garden Show), The Mythical Institution has only grown bolder and more accustomed to its methods in articulating a utopian malady of contemporary art. What began as an invitation to embrace the inherently dissociative, unlimited environment of Minecraft has all but deepened into a swaggering half-glance — just barely a tease.

With this headspace, eight artists have embellished the current mise en scène of an outlook, reinforcing the gallery’s upscaled move into a transcendent state of Romantic era fanaticism. The curator claims that none of the works in this show are direct approximations of their makers’ pre-existing research outside of Minecraft; everything was initiated within the psychic and material conditions set by the garden. Further poignance is generated from the show’s claims of paying tribute to the most recent inhabitants of Minecraft: bees. Introduced with update 1.15 in September 2019, the bees of this gallery have been prescribed a demi-god status — the arbiters of all things land art. Such an element practically begs for some form of competition to follow. By agreeing to participate, the artists of ‘Landesgartenschau 2020’ have unwittingly signed up for the task of having to gain the approval of the bees, who will proceed to rate their works throughout the show. It is still unknown as to what sort of matrix they will be using for their ratings.

Inside ‘Landesgartenschau 2020’, The Mythical Institution’s selected ensemble renders a graceful yet hammer-like choreography that only the undead can wield; its Babylonian airs inevitably collapse the very polemic it seems to attract. When a site demarcates itself with intimations of the 19th century, echoes of the rampant exploits and pedestrian mechanics that drove the upper classes into NaTuRE are called to surface. The swirling, medicated aesthetic of Minecraft ultimately presents an indifferent chamber of indifferent horrors — a ghoulish reminder that critique is merely one more space to frolic within. Tread lightly on the primordial terrain.

press release: Chong Lii
event poster: Felix Krapp
images & texts: Jan Berger