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Gammel Holtegaard 2010 – PROPOSAL

The museum Gammel Holtegaard “A manipulation of nature to show authority and power.”

Gammel Holtegaard was designed by the architect Lauritz de Thurah (1706-59), known for such projects as the spire of Vor Frelser Kirke and the royal hunting lodge of Eremitageslottet. The country house and the baroque garden with motifs from ancient mythology became a magnificent estate for himself outside Copenhagen. In 1976, Gl. Holtegaard is restored.

Today, it is a museum with changing exhibitions. Gammel Holtegaard invited us to make a proposal for sculptural interventions within the park. Those interventions will offer a modern interpretation to what characterises the baroque garden: “The manipulation of nature to show authority and power.”

Artistic Experiment Project

Exquisite surprises

For this contemporary interpretation to what characterises the Baroque garden, we created a range of ‘Folies’ to be disseminated through the park as exquisite surprises. These Folies are numbered and have common attributes: They all interact with the visitors trough the use of computer technology. The Folies create a performative relation between nature and visitors, and they are playful manipulations of nature.

As an example, a Folie encapsulates a tree in its natural setting, in this case surrounded by a glass box almost as high as the tree. When the visitor comes closer, the glass gets increasingly blurry and finally gets completely opaque when standing in front of the tree. Our curiosity will never be satisfied. Deceptiveness and frustration occurs because we are left behind an unreachable object that nonetheless is just in front of us. The glass box is made out of ‘smart glass’ that consists of 2 layers of glass and in-between, a special made film whose molecules can be triggered trough electric current in such a way that it can vary the transparency level from 0 to 100%. Sensors located in the park evaluate the distance of the person in the surrounding.

Design and concept: Hanne-Louise Johannesen and Michel Guglielmi (Diffus Design)