Desert Zen Camouflage Garden | 2007
Desert Zen Camouflage Garden was made for the exhibition Hermitage Helmond, an art project that took place in 2007 in an unused bank in the center of Helmond, the Netherlands. On the invitation of De Nederlandsche Cacaofabriek, the work was installed on location in a large bank vault. During Hermitage Helmond, a year long project conceived by Esther Didden, artists and arts organizations were asked to install artworks in the bank’s vaults. The vaults could then be visited individually by members of the public after picking up a key, so that each viewer was able to spend time alone in the vault with the artwork.
In Desert Zen Camouflage Garden, the pattern of desert camouflage material used by the military in arid areas is recreated using small groups of rocks and colored sand. In the work, a piece of camouflage material was enlarged and visualized as a Zen garden, which also used rock formations and meditatively raked sand. Spiritual, economic and military struggles are united here in one hermetic space, where the fragility of all these endeavors comes to the fore.