First exhibited in The Garden of Earthly Delights (Borusan Art Gallery,
Istanbul, 2005). Also included in Observatory (Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, 2013-14).
"... Today the Rhododendron
ponticum is considered by many to be a weed, the attributes for which
it was originally prized having proved noxious to British flora and fauna ...
of light were crucial to the making of Toxic Forest. Twilight
served to flatten the sculptural forms of the rhododendron plantings and
obfuscate their colours ... While broad daylight, the springtime sun acting as
a backlight, enabled the Barans to produce the close-ups of illuminated
rhododendron flowers that make up the DVD projection accompanying the Toxic Forest landscapes in the gallery. In these slowly flashing
images there is an almost pornographic use of soft-focus on the exposed
sexual organs of the plant ... The sensuality of the projected, vibrantly
coloured petals contrasts greatly with the sombre autumnal landscapes
in the prints. Their juxtaposition recalls the duplicitous nature of the
species, reminding us of the cliché that looks can deceive. We
are beguiled by the Rhododendron ponticum’s seductive bloom
and yet are in danger of being poisoned by its toxic honey. This duality
is best described by the subtle nuances of the Ancient Greek word farmakon that means either medicine or poison depending on the dosage administered ..."
From Garden of Earthly Delights
catalogue text by Anne-Marie Eze
For catalogue text in full, please click on 'selected texts' in navigation bar.
Toxic Forest #2609, 2003
Toxic Forest #2427, 2003
Toxic Forest #2622, 2003
Toxic Forest #2682, 2003
Toxic Forest (Red), 2005
Installation view, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, 2013
Stills from Toxic Forest (Red), 2005
DVD projection, 69 min
Photographs copyright © Barbara & Zafer Baran