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Photograph: Courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum

A tomato garden is now growing inside the Guggenheim museum

Nature is healing, etc.

Emma Orlow
Written by
Emma Orlow

Like all New York City museums, the Guggenheim remains temporarily closed. Even so, there's still a way to check out their current exhibition in person.

"Countryside, The Future" first opened at the museum in February and was intended to last for six months, until the current crisis interrupted its run. The art experience features tomatoes growing beneath magenta grow lights, with a tractor on view beside them, inside one of the building's windows. It's a collaboration between Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives, and the famed architect Rem Koolhaas, among others.

While visitors are still not allowed to enter the museum's halls, The New York Times has reported that David Litvin, an indoor crop specialist, is still tending to the tomatoes while the museum is temporarily closed: "The tomatoes, housed in what looks like a radioactive shipping container on the sidewalk, were on view as part of the exhibition for just three weeks before the city folded in on itself. But they’re still growing, their vines snipped every Tuesday and donated to City Harvest, at least a hundred pounds at a time."

The indoor garden, which is viewable from the street, is a lovely example of how food-based art can still serve the function of nourishing New Yorkers, beyond its aesthetic promise. 

According the museum's website, the exhibition is "unique" for its usual curatorial endeavors, and "will explore radical changes in the rural, remote, and wild territories collectively identified here as 'countryside,' or the 98% of the Earth’s surface not occupied by cities, with a full rotunda installation premised on original research."

Elsewhere in the world, a Montreal cinema has also transformed into an indoor urban garden. Along with these bulbous red tomatoes on the Upper East Side, it seems nature really is healing.   

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