Concerned that once inside Versailles, the visitor would be overwhelmed and confused by infinite viewing possibilities, Louis XIV felt it necessary to write a guidebook entitled The Manner of Viewing the Gardens of Versailles.
By writing this book, the king acknowledged the failure of his garden to provide a determinant vision of the world. The book was, in a sense, a last effort to re-establish control by redirecting the meandering eyes, body and mind of the visitor.
By writing this book, the king acknowledged that, left to our own devices, we each create our own gardens. To a large degree, our view operates independently of the landscape's physical configuration, creating its own structure and borders based on our needs and yearnings. - - Michael Ashkin
Michael Ashkin's exhibition will consist of two parts. There will be a video installation in the main exhibition space entitled "Proof Range" and an artist's book entitled Garden State will be on view and for sale in the front lobby. The book will be accompanied by an edition of photographs.