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Impossible Garden

The Temporary, Tactile Memories of Lauren Daccache
Installation imagery and portrait by Matthew Gordon
Collaborators: Wallpaper Projects, Emilio Quezeda Ibanez
Written by Georgina Rose
Produced by Managing Editor Anna Caradeuc

Based between Brooklyn and Beirut, Lauren Daccache is an artist whose output explores the conflicting human desire to both escape from and belong to a place. Photography, her primary medium, speaks to the idea of memory preservation and confabulation through the impact of nostalgia and time on our perception of the past.

With Impossible Garden, Lauren has written a hazy love letter to her Grandmother’s garden in Baabdat, Lebanon. This immersive installation took its shape through a space fully enveloped in feeling with custom floor-to-ceiling wallpaper (produced in collaboration with Wallpaper Projects), photographs printed on hanging mulberry silks, an ambient soundscape of days spent in the garden (produced in collaboration with musician Emilio Quezeda Ibanez), and a subtle olfactory element that followed suit.

A small storefront in Manhattan’s Lower East Side smelled off gardenias for seven days in June. For just one week, visitors were invited to walk through ‘Impossible Garden,’ a sensorial photo installation fit with silky visions of pastel roses, fresh jasmine and olives ripe for picking.

For Brooklyn-based artist Lauren Deccache, her Grandmother’s garden in the mountains of Lebanon has always been a respite, a place of comfort, contentment, and contemplation. Throughout her childhood, this was the place where clocks had no hands — it was a place of joy and growth and time not wasted.

With this project, Deccache fabricated these feelings into ones you could touch, creating a space fully enveloped in sentimental surrender. From a selection of twelve photographs, custom wallpaper covered every inch of the space from giant green clippers on the floor to the oversized pink petals of a rose on the right side wall. Hanging from the ceiling, sheets of sheer printed silk caught reflections through the windows, light flickering and fleeting like recollected dreams. Beyond the seeable, an ambient soundscape of bird sounds and familial chatter could be heard in the distance along with a subtle olfactory element reminiscent of the flowers in bloom this time of year.Tenderly exploring the conflicting human desire to both escape from and belong to a place, Deccache beautifully captured the poetry of perception with this botanical tribute to her Lebanese roots. “My relationship with Lebanon is rooted in my coming and going, it’s centered around my arrivals and my departures. Constantly, I wonder what’s evolving or even disappearing while I’m away. And when I return, I’m obsessed with documenting what has changed or stayed the same in my absence. I never capture enough, I never capture it right, but I keep coming back and keep trying,” says Deccache.

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