Notes on the most Beautiful, part II | Bettina Camilla Vestergaard

In the second part of her project Notes on the Most Beautiful Bettina Camilla Vestergaard presents a new series of photographs entitled Fragments and Rearrangements (The global plant elite for public spaces) #1-8. Based on extensive research, Vestergaard has identified the most commonly used plants used for beautification of public spaces worldwide. The plants belong to a global plant elite and are often set within a similar global park and urban landscape design. Their history can be traced back to early modernism in European cities and Western colonization, which involved botanical transplantations and construction of parks for the bourgeoisie in countries outside Europe. Today, countries that are entering the global market still appropriate this Western aesthetic of public spaces despite the often destructive impact it has on these countries biodiversity and economy.
The photographs in Fragments and Rearrangements (The global plant elite for public spaces) #1-8 not only record the plants, but simultaneously reflect upon the order and logic that situate their forms of representation within science and public space. Rather than the singlular scientific image and geometric patterns of flower beds, the fragmented, random and associative is highlighted as a means of questioning the interrelation of beauty and order.

Bettina Camilla Vestergaard initiated her project Notes on the Most Beautiful in Cairo 2011. It is based on her pre-revolutionary exploration of the public spaces in one of the Worlds most densely populated cities. Critically she noted that the majority of the parks and gardens in Cairo were either fenced off, guarded or simply not accessible to the public. As a part of her research she decided to talk to different people about this, finishing all conversations by asking them to describe the most beautiful place in Cairo. In the first part of her project these personal testimonies are accompanied with photos taken by Vestergaard retrospectively. The texts and images do much more than describe beautiful places, they unfold a variety of personalities, voices and stories that relate to living in Cairo. In addition, the revolutionary events that took place after the conception of this project create a close tie to the current state and possible future of the city. Notes on the Most Beautiful is dedicated to one of the narrators, Ahmed Bassiony, who died during the revolution in February 2011. He was the only one describing the most beautiful place as people.

Bettina Camilla Vestergaard (b.1975) received her MFA from Malmoe Art Academy after having studied at Interdisciplinary Studio at the University of California Los Angeles. Her work has been shown in group- and solo shows throughout Europe, in the US, Mexico and Vietnam, including TUMULT an International Public Art Festival in Denmark 2010 and Momentum 2011, 6th Nordic Biennial for Nordic Contemporary Art in Norway. She currently lives in Copenhagen, DK.

www.bcvestergaard.com