Italy- Antonella Barina 

A ring of young palm trees planted for OPEN 14 forms a protected and protecting vegetal architecture, devoted to meditation and to reciting poetry.

In the centre, a comfortable low salvaged seat with a tempting cushion.

The concept with which this living sculpture is created is the friendly and cultural ritual of planting a garden, a garden in which to welcome people. The first gesture of friendship is towards the plant itself, the palm tree, nowadays disdained due to its outdated fortune as an exotic ornamental element in nineteenth- and twentieth-century gardens. Without considering that, due to the tropicalisation of the climate, the palm tree is spreading rapidly all over the world at the expense of less adaptable species, with the result that the human species has dubbed it “a weed”: according to the artist we should reflect on this definition, which indicates an opportunist and racist principle of selection, one that can unfortunately be applied to other species and categories, even within the human community, and seriously accept the unequivocal signal about climate change that is sent to us by the proliferation of palm trees.

As these palm trees grow, from the seeds of other palms in the garden of Antonella Barina, a scholar, artist and eclectic intellectual in Venice, they may form a little vegetal temple with a circular colonnade inspired by the temple of Athena Pronaia, “guardian of the temple”, in Delphi, of the fourth century BC; the same goddess is also known as Athena Eileithyia, due to her role in the fertility process, and as Zosteria, “who assists women in childbirth”.


Text by
Gloria Vallese