Turf Strip #5
Janet Owen and Max Presneill on Arzu Arda Kosar:
“Absorbed by the notion of borders, the ways in which they manifest in both the actual space and as invisible but functioning social, economic and political boundaries, Kosar’s recent projects have included the installations “Los Angeles County Potted” and “Twisted Lollipopland”. The former uses a variety of flowers clustered in types to map ethnic and socioeconomic enclaves in LA County and because the installation requires continual upkeep to prevent withering or seeding in the wrong area -to also suggest the effort that goes to maintenance of their demarcations. While making pointed commentary on the ways in which bastations of privilege are constructed and protected under the guise of maintaining the “American dream”, the latter uses sod, white picket fencing and faux pearls to map a Southern Californian gated community that is officially recognized as a city.
It is perhaps Kosar’s “Turf Series”, however, which most explicitly examines the contemporary state of that particular utopian Dream. The series comprises photographs of front lawns -those swathes of green suburban green sward that owe so much to post-Civil War visions of suburbia as an egalitarian institution with lawns flowing unhindered one into another and contributing to a sense of a community of equals. With her camera focused explicitly on the edges, straw colored ruts between one far-bladed viridian hued lawn and its more slender, olive toned neighbor, for example -Kosar begs the question, if these lawns signified American ideals back in the modern age, what does their current state suggest in this post-modern era? “