Recently the show of the SS22 collection by Saint Laurent was staged in Venice. The fashion show was intended to be a tribute to the city 1600 years after its foundation and, in fact, the video that accompanied the parade told it in various aspects, from the ancient to the modern. However, the real protagonist of the show was Green Lens, an installation commissioned by the brand to American artist Doug Aitken, composed of an octagonal structure entirely covered with mirrors inside a botanical garden. Here is how the artist described it:
“It will create a combination of reflections mixed with clouds, mist and wild green vegetation evoking a mysterious presence. Inside the sculpture there will be an enormous living kaleidoscope-like space that reflects the landscape, sky and the shifting surroundings. This installation turns the landscape into a living abstraction.” – Doug Aitken
Beyond the reflection on the relationship between man and nature, the work also represents Saint Laurent’s attempt to dialogue with contemporary art, participating de facto in the Biennale with his own installation for which a free ferry service has also been established that will go from Piazza San Marco to the Certosa Island, where Green Lens is located.
As if that were not enough, the brand has also declared that it will use the plants present in the installation to reforest the island of the Certosa and that it will take care of a series of restoration interventions on some of the most degraded architectural heritage of the island.
Green Lens recalls some of Aitken’s earlier works, especially The Garden, presented four years ago at the Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark, which included, albeit in a very different way, mirror structures and a tropical garden and the idea of a stage-work of art into which the viewer could enter. Among other things, as Artribunepointed out, Aitken had brought his works to Italy two more times – curiously always on an island: first always at the Venice Biennale in ’99 and then again, in 2009, on the Tiber Island of Rome.