Vivians Garden 1

Rosalind Nashashibi: Vivian's Garden



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London-based artist Rosalind Nashashibi’s meditative films merge everyday observations with a sensuous and at times fantastical cinematographic vocabulary. Commissioned for the quinquennial exhibition documenta 14 (Athens/Kassel, 2017), Nashashibi’s tender and dreamy film Vivian’s Garden depicts the relationship between émigré artists Elisabeth Wild (born 1922, Vienna) and Vivian Suter (born 1945, Buenos Aires)—mother and daughter—in their adjoining houses located in Panajachel, a remote town in the rainforest outside Guatemala City. Wild and Suter have a fluid relationship, seamlessly trading roles of mother and daughter. Also present are villagers from a nearby indigenous community, who work in their homes as caretakers and housekeepers. The environment they share offers both terror and refuge from catastrophic weather, harassment, and crime. The filmic portrait, which is presented adjacent to the exhibition of Suter’s el bosque interior in the museum’s Kenneth and Anne Griffin Court, focuses on the artistic, emotional, and economic lives of the household, offering a delicate look at the complex postcolonial relations within Suter and Wild’s domestic space. In the fractured moments, incomplete conversations, and intimate interiors that constitute Nashashibi’s approach to filmmaking, Vivian’s Garden presents a mesmerizing view into lives filled with moments of abstraction and lush beauty.


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