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Dieter Roth- “Gartenskultptur” (1970-2000)

March 10, 2010

Gartenskulptur

1970-2000

jars, paints, glass, farm equipment, artist tools, chocolate, birdseed, clothing, monitors, funnels, twine, food wrappers

Gartenskulptur, a work that saw many iterations over nearly thirty years, began in 1970. Its first manifestation was a series of busts made of birdseed and chocolate mounted outdoors. Slowly, Gartenskulptur began to take on a larger architecture. Paintings and other works of art were placed near the busts, and funnels caught bird refuse and the remains of artworks that were washed away by the elements. These remains were boiled, then placed in a jar and put back on the growing trellis-like structure. In 1973 rabbit hutches with live bunny inhabitants were added to Gartenskulptur and the waste they produced was used to make small sculptures, which were in turn re-incorporated into the work. Video monitors, clothing, and other elements also made their way onto the assemblage with every re-installation. Gartenskulptur traveled across Europe for installation in various urban and rural locations, each time disassembled and re-made. It spent some years in storage. But in 2000, after Dieter Roth’s death, it was re-installed in Switzerland and artists continued adding to the structure, adding on small greenhouses. A constant collaboration between nature and artist, Gartenskulptur explores art as a never-ending process of decay and recreation, death and rebirth. Roth’s work often meditates upon these themes of impermanence, using techniques like collage to examine accretion and dissemination, and ephemeral materials like food stuffs to consider cyclical consumption and excretion. Gartenskulptur is unique in his oeuvre in that it continues to be part of the re-collection of the artistic canon, even beyond the scope of his own life.

Explore MoMA’s interactive retrospective here

Catalogue from the MoMA exhibition here

Cocoa-Dusted Rabbit Legs Stuffed with Pinenuts

This recipe brings together elements from several of the iterations of Gartenskulptur for an unusual, but delicious dish.

Serves 6-8

  • 6 rabbit legs
  • 3/cup pinenuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin oil plus 4 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 bottle dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Remove bones from rabbit legs and butterfly open.

In a food processor, blend together pinenuts and olive oil until a paste is formed. Divide paste among 4 rabbit legs and roll each leg up. Tie each leg securely with butcher twine.

Mix together cocoa powder and salt. Dust each leg in the mixture.

In a 10 to 12-inch saute pan, heat 4 tablespoons oil until hot. Place rabbit legs in pan and saute on all sides. Pour in red wine and vinegar bring to boil. Lower to a simmer and cover halfway. Cook 50 to 60 minutes until very tender, turning occasionally. Remove rabbit legs and cut the strings; keep warm. Reduce remaining liquid until thick and syrupy, adding a tablespoon of flour if needed. Pour sauce over legs to serve.

Please respond in the comments box to the recipe, the art, and your experience of consuming the artwork.

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