Gardens Labyrinths Paradise – Enrico Rainero
Authors: Enrico Rainero, Marco Dezzi Bardeschi
Publisher Studio Enrico Rainero
Graphics and iconographical research: Giorgio Rota
English Translation: Patricia Schultz
Year of publication 1985
Published in four languages editions: English, Italian, German, French
This book offers an itinerary of invention and fantasy within the ideal garden, created by joining together naturalistic and artistic phenomena, and the mythological and allegorical wonders of the centuries-old history of man and his garden.
The three chapters of this book will be the imaginary foot paths that will guide the visitors through the history of man’s relationship with nature.
The first chapter sees the birth of “vegetation” as the allegory of the birth of life; the elements – water, air, fire, earth – are united in a primitive nature that was then utilized by man for his own survival. Intervention begins, together with a gradual transformation of the terrain and landscape.
The second chapter begins with the interpretation and use of nature as pleasure or as an aesthetic motive. From the Medieval “Hortus Conclusus” to the majestic gardens of the Medici Villas, these historical gardens increasingly gained an architectural significance. They specialized in a growing, symbolic value at once aesthetic, political, mystical.
Exceptional allegorical representations triumph in the third chapter: man’s initial disorientation in science, knowledge and spirit are represented by the “dark forest” and the Labyrinth whose recurrence of paths scatter and confuse human attempts to achieve…? Each effort is expressed in ways that are recreational or spiritual, mystical or satanic; man’s internal search for Paradise is represented by the secret garden while the garden theatre repeats a performance to infinity.
The theme is developed along two parallel journeys: the first by images, the second by a wealth of quotations that emphasize the photographs.
We have played with the subjects photographed, interpreting them graphically and accentuating the structure that was at times symbolic, at times aesthetic; we have given them the rhythm of the seasons’ cycles.
Finding ourselves each time more involved in this journey, we realized the validity of the warning “one does not build labyrinths without getting lost”