Garden of Babylon, a “Selfie” Pop Art installation made from recycled paper and paying tributes to the history of gardens in the book & film, Being There, Candide by Voltaire, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Library of Ashurbanipal, George Smith, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Matisse, Claes Oldenburg and the recurring themes of humans, nature and the cyclical and mixed aspects of progress throughout history, going back to Babylonia, the first human civilization.
The story narrative references artifacts found in the British Museum in London and discoveries made by George Smith from the Library of Ashurbanipal. Translations of The Epic of Gilgamesh (probably the world’s first narrative story) and The Deluge Tablet (Tablet XI/11) that includes one of the flood myths, are part of the art installation, as well as George Smith’s book: History of Babylonia. Other art inspirations come from Matisse (the paper and cardboard “Palm à la Matisse” is dedicated to him for his paper cut-out series) and Claes Oldenburg is also a Pop Art inspiration for his public art installations of fun, everyday objects made out of papier–mâché/papier collé.
The Lobby Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Historic Post Office Building in Downtown Los Angeles. (It was the first Post Office in the city.) The building is currently connected to several galleries and is home to many Downtown Los Angeles artists.
View the walk-through on the symbolism and garden metaphors by Sandy Shimooka (urbaniconic1) on YouTube:
*Note: Correction to the “7 challenges of Hercules” mentioned in the walk-through. It should be the “12 Labours of Heracles” (Greek) or “12 Labours of Hercules “(Roman)
Click on the images below to see slides on the process and making of:
Links to some of the garden metaphors and philosophical references, in the film, Being There:
Interesting symposium about The Epic of Gilgamesh and the human condition:
Information about archaeologist, George Smith, The Library of Ashurbanipal, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gardens of Babylon and decoding the Flood Tablet: https://blog.britishmuseum.org/a-library-fit-for-a-king/
Also see this BBC link for more information about the Flood Tablet and other artefacts from the British Museum in London: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/GOe8Mt6vRdSNcg-yeivrEA
Elements of this story installation were also seen at the exhibitions: “Art At The Rendon | Hidden Rooms” and “When She Rises” at SPARC Arts.