Carlos Motta, Artist

America’s Possession and Dispossession (2010)

Site specific garden installation commissioned by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for the exhibition “Avenue of the Americas” in the spring/summer 2010.

“…In order to re-brand the Avenue of the Americas, Carlos Motta with David Sanin Paz (horticulture) created a garden featuring banana trees, passion vines, and other tropical plants from around North and South America shaped to spell out the word: AMERICA’S. This intentional use of the possessive form repositions the exhibition and the Avenue’s plurality (Avenue of the Americas), into a situation of singular ownership. As a living sculpture, this project requires care such as watering and weeding. In the metaphoric sense, this actual maintenance eludes to our own need to upkeep our own ‘America(s)’.

It should also be noted that the plants and soil will be cross-pollinated and “polluted” by bees and wind-carrying seeds from points elsewhere, nurturing an ever growing and developing wild body, depending on what species are accepted. The list of original Pan-American plants are: Solanum Quitoense (Peru and Ecuador), Verbena Bonariensis (Argentina), Dichondra Silver Falls (South East United States of America), Passiflora Kewensis (Brazil), Passiflora Vitifolia (Central America), Passiflora Sunburst (Venezuela), Ipomoea Kniolas Black (American Tropics), Senecio Confusus (Mexico), Agastache Apricot Sunrise (North America), Juncus Effusus ‘Unicorn’ (Eastern United States), Nicotiana Langsdorfii (Brazil)….”

-Description written by curator Adam Kleinman for LMCC’s website.