The Garden

Cinematics of the Soil

Project description

On England’s southeast coast in the immediate vicinity of a nuclear power plant and military base, the British artist, filmmaker and activist Derek Jarman spent his final years before passing away from complications caused by HIV in 1994. He designed and landscaped his legendary garden which, to this day, continues to draw arthouse film fans and members of the queer community.In his film “The Garden” (UK 1990), Jarman presents the ambivalence of the garden as both a place of healing and destruction, hope and mourning. But most of all, he imagines the garden as a utopia where humans and nature can coexist. The exhibition “The Garden” at the silent green in Berlin makes multiple references to Derek Jarman’s artistic work and the utopian potential of his garden. It will be staged in the concrete hall of silent green, a former underground mortuary which was converted into an exhibition hall from 2016 to 2019. References to southern England’s landscape and real elements of gardens will be incorporated into the exhibition design. Numerous artists of various disciplines have been invited to explore Jarman’s cinematic work, his themes and his garden in their own works of art. For example, a film project by the artists Mareike Bernien and Alexandra Gerbaulet investigates the former uranium mining sites in Saxony and Thuringia, and the attempts that have been made to ecologically revitalise the contaminated areas. Kerstin Schroedinger and Oliver Husain will present an experimental installation on the subject of AIDS. A film by the Palestinian artist Inas Halabi focuses on radioactivity and the circulation of information and stories. The CHEAP Art Kollektiv plans on developing a musical piece based on Jarman’s personal diary entries and poems. The exhibition will be accompanied by discussions on current environmental, political and artistic practices of resistance.

Artistic directors: Bettina Ellerkamp, Jörg Heitmann, Stefanie Schulte-Strathaus
Curator Talks: Marc Siegel
Artists/participants: Mareike Bernien und Alexandra Gerbaulet, Kerstin Schroedinger und Oliver Husain, Inas Halabi, Philip Scheffner, Peter Cusack, Howard Sooley, Dagie Brundert und das CHEAP Art Collective


  • 22 July, 2021 to 22 August, 2021: Exhibition (preliminary date)

    silent green Kulturquartier, Berlin


silent green Kulturquartier

Gerichtstraße 35
13347 Berlin

Website silent green (external link, opens in a new window)