OBSERVATIONS RELATIVE CHIEFLY TO PICTURESQUE BEAUTY, 2009
An attempt to view the Citadel Park surrounding SMAK (Gent, Belgium) in accordance with the rules of picturesque beauty set forth in the highly popular guidebooks to the English landscape by the Reverend William Gilpin (1724-1804) which originated the term "picturesque." This work was commissioned as part of the exhibition "The Picturesque Reconsidered."
A short illustrated GUIDE to the Citadel Park, supposedly written by Gilpin in 1799, was distributed for free to inhabitants of the buildings surrounding the park and was available in English and Dutch translation inside the museum. The seven sites in the park illustrated in the guide were marked with 16" x 20" (41cm x 51 cm) SIGNS on metal poles printed with the illustrations. An ARCHIVE of watercolors and notes from Gilpin's historically impossible tour of the Citadel Park was on view inside the museum. In collaboration with Alex McKay, Ellen Harvey offered TOURS of the Citadel Park which attempted to recreate the experience of an 18th century landscape tourist. The seven sites illustrated in the guide were assessed using the guidebook and viewed through McKay's collection of Claude Glasses.