Hortus Conclusus


(On the Origin of the Inequality of Mankind, The Second Part), Marfa TX, 2013

Hortus Conclusus was a roadside monument mounted in the backyard of a former hardware store in Marfa, Texas and positioned 6 feet from a public highway leading to an intersection. The piece was made on-site over a 6-day period in June, 2013 from local dirt, water, paint and paper. The adobe bricks were compacted from the soil dug out to form the hollow in front of the structure, which was later painted blue. In medieval iconography the Hortus Conclusus is the mystical garden of the mother goddess modeled on the womb. As the piece is literally turned in upon itself in spatial terms, the enclosed garden becomes a figurative expression of spirituality. The text is from Discourse on Social Inequality (1754), Jean Jacques Rousseau’s denunciation of private property.
The work is documented as a twenty-three-step program for land development.
Photography: P.O. and Ranu We