Jennifer Wen Ma (New York/Beijing) In Search of the Garden of Eden, with Hans Ausloos (Professor in Biblical Studies, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve).

How does a metaphor for an unattainable utopian ideal impact upon the development of these cultures and the individual psyche?

Stemming from her interest in the Garden of Babylon, Jennifer Wen Ma attempts to trace the original location of the Garden of Eden. Her research probes the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates in northern Iraq, the marshlands of southern Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Lebanon, parts of Africa, Jerusalem, Sri Lanka, Missouri and Mars. Eastern and Western creation myths—such as the Chinese legend of Nuwa and Fuxi, and the Judeo-Christian story of Adam and Eve—complicate and further enrich her project. Ma considers other works which explore lost utopias: Milton’s Paradise Lost, Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, and Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion.

In Search of the Garden of Eden concludes with a performance at Performa 13 (New York) in November 2013