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The Vivid Garden, 2013 Digital video, 12 min

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From the grass under her feet to hallucinatory images like three-legged creatures, she evokes a new world-surpassing what any seeing person could ever come across. The Vivid Garden departed from the question if it is possible to evoke a garden purely in language. The film was shot with a camera obscura, in London's Kew Gardens. The camera is like a dead eye: it receives light but does not transfer it upright through the brains, resulting in a mainly shady world, turned upside down. Seeking for anything recognizable is the main visual drive, resulting in brittle imagery reminiscent of the first experiments in film. In The Vivid Garden the absence of light is as important as the finding of bright details to hang on to.


The voice of a blind woman leads us through a slowly emerging garden. Visually she can onlyperceive shades of light and vague contours. She mainly bases what she 'sees' ondescriptions a friend gave her onprior visits to the garden, and on her imagination. 

With The Vivid Garden Barnas attempts to transfigure words into sight to grasp the inversive relationship between language and image. As blurry images of sky and branches intermittently fill the screen, a woman’s voice is heard as she-at times hesitatingly, at times as though in wonder–describes Kew Gardens. Unable to see anything in detail, the woman’sdescriptions border on the hallucinatory and create a vivid parallel reality of bonfires and mystical creatures. As Barnas highlights the contradiction of shared experience, the patching together of light and dark attempts to anchor the disorienting assault of this other state of being.

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