Local artist, Camilla Berner has released a new book documenting her 2011 project Black Box Garden. The book is an English translation of the blog she kept during the run of the project. It includes beautiful photographs of the garden in process and tells about her daily interactions with the citizens of Copenhagen as she wrestled an empty city lot back from disorder.

Camilla Berner Black Box Garden

Berner’s art work focuses on plants and how they are used in the landscape. She is interested in urban design and why certain plants are privileged over others. She is also interested in histories of plants. She discusses this in depth as well as other art works in the interview I conducted with her in An Edge Effect: Art & Ecology in the Nordic Landscape (HLP, 2014).

Camilla Berner Black Box Garden

From April to November in 2011, Berner visited an empty city lot at Krøyers Plads, a contested site located in Copenhagen’s inner harbor area. She worked with the existing plants at the site and easily obtainable tools to cultivate a garden on the site. She did not visit the site everyday but often for the duration of the project. She tried to wear a uniform to make it apparent that she should be there gathering trash, moving plants around, and creating a structure where there was previously none. Berner began to get questions from curious passersby only after she had been working the land for several weeks and it had become apparent that she was not going anywhere. The expensive real estate was later developed but until then Berner’s work asked citizens of Copenhagen to think differently about how city space is used and approached, and what types of plants are acceptable and which are not.

Camilla Berner Black Box Garden

There are only 300 copies available of the beautiful hard bound book, designed by Berner herself. Copies are available directly from Berner herself via her website or from Half Letter Press (Europe Only).

Camilla Berner Black Box Garden

Black Box Garden was curated by PUBLIK which focuses on curating art in the public sphere.

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