Nico King / Group XLIII, Oct 2016 - Mar 2017


2/17/17 to 2/26/17

Mackey Apartments & Garage Top 1137 S. Cochran Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90019

Vienna-based landscape architect Nico King is interested in the manifestations of urban landscapes, in aesthetic and sociopolitical terms. While in residency at the MAK Center, she researched the culture of the private backyard garden that is inseparable from Los Angeles—she viewed this space as a living archive of utopian and dystopian American dreams. In the case of California, gardens mark a history of immigration and otherness, with traces of Japanese garden culture revealing themselves throughout the city. While these designs were regarded as aesthetically serene, exotic and sophisticated, these projections cover up a city’s dark past. For Final Projects, King referred to ideas of these garden spaces, also widely found in the Internment Camps of the 1940s. This history of Japanese-American citizens remains physically and mentally outside of forgetful L.A., and King studied the gardens that formed shared social experiences constructed by internees at places like Manzanar, nestled between the forbidding Death Valley and Mount Whitney. Visitors to the exhibition encountered garden spaces on the property, conflating and complicating the mid-twentieth century mistreatment of Japanese-Americans with Los Angeles’s impulse to freely appropriate elements of Japanese landscape design for private gardens.

Project Images

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