A garden is a proposition that there might be a difference between the inside and the out, between our little patch and the wide world. Can such a difference be?
In the garden, nature is augmented, shaped, shaded, amplified, restrained. See the spikes of agave tented with a net. The fine pixelation of the canopy’s gauzy web holds clouds and darkening sky. See the foam rebozo, belts of bundled papers, ropes.
There is, these photos seem to say, no nature. There is human nature. We see in all things the signature of our intervention; even in our seeing, itself.
These photos of plants by Graciela Iturbide are her response to the call of her friend, artist Francisco Toledo. Having saved the monastic compound surrounding the Basilica Santo Domingo in Oaxaca, Mexico from the adventures of real estate developers, Toledo drew in Iturbide to help accomplish the planting of its several acres with species indigenous to that place. Her photos celebrate the undertaking and evidence the procedures of the Miztec and Zapotec gardeners in establishing the plants. They are finely printed in limited numbers, with the technique of photogravure, which has been so important to the human catalog of the natural world.