Tending to his work like a garden, New York-based Austrian artist Martin Roth grows grass within the fibers of Persian rugs, constantly watering his works to ensure the grass grows lush from within the dense fabric. The end result of this project, first exhibited at an Austrian castle in 2012, will always be the same. The rugs will unravel and the grass will die. This fatalistic act is both poetic and political for the artist, working with a sensual ephemerality as well as speaking to Western countries’ urges to bring their values to other countries.
Roth’s most recent rug installation is currently on view at the Korean Cultural Centre in London as a part of a show titled Riptide that features the work of Koo Jeong A and other artists. Over the next few weeks the piece will gradually change as the grass first mimics the patterns found on the rugs until it grows to create new forms. Towards the end of the exhibition the grass will nearly consume the rugs before dying itself, a cycle of birth, consumption, and eventual death.
You can witness the collaboration between rug and lawn from now until November 19, 2016. See more of Roth’s installation-based interventions on his website.