Artwork details

Garden Sound
Mixed media with sound
152,4 x 365,8 x 213,4 cm
William Leavitt

Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. Photo: Chris Bliss.


Garden Sound, 1970
William Leavitt was a key figure in the conceptual art movement that arose in Los Angeles in the 1970s. Leavitt applied the principles of conceptual art to the local culture, and developed a distinctive style of conceptual art with clear roots in the visual culture of Los Angeles. The city’s film culture and architecture have been a recurring source of material for the artist. He regards the scenography of the film as a metaphor for Los Angeles as a city, in the sense that scenography shows only a surface without going into depth. Garden Sound is a multimedia installation that juxtaposes the natural with the artificial by playing live recordings of trickling water in an environment of plastic plants. This work encompasses strongly scenographic elements, as the combination of recordings of trickling water with artificial plants creates a constructed environment of “naturalness” as the water has a symbolic function rather than nurturing the artificial plants. The plastic plants in Leavitt’s installation also function as a reminder of Hollywood as a staged illusion.


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