On view from spring to fall of 2015 at the Contemporary Art Museum of Saint Louis, Green Varnish is a site-specific installation that completely modifies and alters the space of its courtyard. The installation occupies the space; the object creates a space.
A spectacular green fabric, composed of sixteen varieties of nearly 6,000 individual specimens of sedum, elegantly floats over the floor of the museum's court. This hovering botanical blanket lifts at two of its corners to reveal a fan of tawny poplar boards. The result is a dramatic living sculpture that feels both monumental and weightless. The organic lines of the installation provoke the defined concrete volumes of the adjacent buildings, which answer back, altering its appearance throughout the day using an ever-changing sunlight and shadow sequence.
With Green Varnish, Nomad Studio explores the necessity of hiding inconvenient realities with politically correct beauty. In this specific case, on how our lifestyle is altering natural systems. We live in denial within vanishing landscapes, refusing to accept reality. Landscapes are gradually ceasing to be operative in their ecological structures and therefore, will transition into a completely different landscape in search of a new ecological order.
We believe that deep inside the collective awareness, it is clear we need to overcome major changes in order to cope with climate change. Currently, our response is completely reactionary and we mainly express it in two different manners: pure rejection or some form of green shift that enables us to continue business as usual.
Green Varnish is an ironic gesture towards the ‘greening’ trend camouflaged beneath the mantra of sustainability.