Milde Marek a Kristyna

Carpetorium: Wilderness of Home, 2022


Carpetorium: Wilderness of Home project, by Kristyna and Marek Milde, explores how our common houseplants are important for creating a sense of home, rootedness to place and belonging to nature. Houseplants, which we consider a habitual part of our lives, are not just mere decoration; they are an important part of our identity and the psychology of our homes. They are often cultivated and cherished for generations, providing us with daily joy, comfort and a sense of harmony. Combined with other domestic objects, they create new fictional ecosystems, mental landscapes in the enclosed, alienated space of architecture. The Carpetorium installation reflects the contemporary contradictory relationship between nature and civilization, while offering a model for connecting these two seemingly separate worlds.

Carpetorium: Wilderness of Home is a spatial installation that takes the form of a symbolic garden created from houseplants borrowed from various households. The floral collection thus assembled serves as a source for a fantastical installation in which these plants grow through an ornamental ‘magic carpet’. Here people can sit, contemplate and view the plants from a new angle. The project connects the stories of plants with the stories of people, the ornament of the carpet is intertwined with the living flowers and reminds us that the connection with nature is deeply rooted in us.

Houseplants are mostly native to remote, densely forested tropical regions and are thus able to adapt to the shady and heated conditions of our homes. These plants thus paradoxically represent the islands of wild vegetation that we grow inside our homes and that are now disappearing in nature. ‘Magic carpet’ imaginatively transports the viewer between the domestic environment and the rainforest. In doing so, Carpetorium highlights the transcultural and intercontinental connection between tropical and domestic plants influenced by globalisation and the consumerist behaviour of our society.

The project included an open call in which the artists invited local residents to participate in the project. Participants lent their houseplants and shared their personal story with the artists. Thus, in the Carpetorium: Wilderness of Home installation, the worlds of homes intersect with the world of art to create, in mutual communication and understanding, a place – a ‘community garden’ – where one can sit and reflect together on our relationship to nature.

The project thematically builds on Kristyna and Marek Milde’s installation Carpetorium: Lost and Found Gardens of Manhattan, created from houseplants found in urban trash on the streets of New York City and presented at MoCA Westport in 2021.

Carpetorium is part of a series of projects based on the idea of archives, collections, and categorization of information in which Kristyna and Marek Milde explore environmental issues of the present.

Kristyna and Marek Milde with contribution by Michal Koleček