The exhibition Re-visiting “Roberto Burle Marx, The Unnatural Art of the Garden”: Roberto Burle Marx ´s Centennial (1909-2009) / 50th Anniversary del Parque del Este (1959-2009) opened Saturday, October 31st, 2009, with a cocktail at 7:00 pm in the Archivos del Centro Documental of the Sala Mendoza, Sala Mendoza, Universidad Metropolitana (UNIMET), Terrazas del Ávila. Edificio Eugenio Mendoza Goiticoa. Caracas, Venezuela.
How do we preserve a living work of art? Abandonment and bad maintenance are the main worries for those who care about landscaping artist Roberto Burle Marx´s oeuvre. The huge heritage left behind by him (specially his public parks), while not being well taken care of when he was alive, is much more in danger since he passed away in 1994. There is no work of Architecture more fragile than that of Landscape Architecture… But, what can we say about his legacy in Venezuela? In which situation are the parks, the landscapes and the gardens he did here? How much have they deteriorated, which species have been lost, how much have they ran away from their original projects? Let´s not forget that although in his 61 years of intense activity, Burle Marx, like a real garden and environmental warrior, designed more than 2,000 gardens and parks around the world, he denied from his works whenever the original projects were altered. They say that, during the re-planning of the coasts of Laguna Rodrigo de Freitas, in 1975, which came right out of the hands of Burle Marx, he afterwards rejected the work: “I don t assume the paternity of anything that was created by me and has been modified”. Are his Venezuelan works today still Burle Marx´s, maintaining all their qualities and original effects?
John G. Stoddart (AIA) is a Landscape Architect. He was a director of the office of Landscape Architecture Stoddart & Tabora Arquitectos (1964-1997). Today he is partner in the firm Stoddart + Henríquez Arquitectos Paisajistas. He was with Roberto Burle Marx part of the Parque del Este´s work team. .
Elías González Sanavia is a Landscape Architect, with more than eleven years of professional practice in Venezuela and in the Caribbean region.
Diana Henríquez is an Architect and MSc. in Landscape Architecture. She is a former President of the Sociedad Venezolana de Arquitectos Paisajistas, a representant of the SVAP at the IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects), and is now a partner in the firm Stoddart + Henríquez Landscape Architects.
Hannia Gómez is an Architect and MSc. in Urban Design, a Curator and an Architecture and City Critic. She is a founder of the Instituto de Arquitectura Urbana (1979), the Fundación de la Memoria Urbana (2000) and CENTRO de la Ciudad (2001).
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