Garden State

by Mandafounis, Mazliah & Zarhy

To dreamers, freedom seekers and community lovers, an oasis, a utopic island, a temporary autonomous zone, the perfect place to be…

For the 25th anniversary of Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt, the collective Mamaza (Ioannis Mandafounis, Fabrice Mazliah & May Zarhy)  re-creates the theater as an ephemeral communal garden. A newly thought space offered to the people of Frankfurt giving the liberty to co-habitate, share and dream together. Garden State is inspired by the story of Libertalia, a possibly fictional anarchist colony founded in the late 17th century in Madagascar in which pirates freed slave ships and lived communally in an exotic peaceful environment.

This garden consists of a large collection of private plants collected door to door, by the artists, from Frankfurt’s inhabitants and re-composed as a mobile island on the stage of the theater. Elaborated in collaboration with the Städelschule’s Architecture class SAC, Garden State is a landscape / time-scape where people are invited to have all kinds of interactions and activities: concerts, naps, lectures, sun salutations, full moon bathing, open mic performances and a nighty-night calming down lullaby to end the day. Garden State brings together the natural and the artificial, the outside and the inside, and puts the experience of the visitor at the center of the attention. The garden becomes the framework of a social choreography where the local inhabitants come and go according to their own will. They take part in the events that emerge throughout the day, and can transform and re-compose the space, either by simply spending time there and taking space or by literally moving the mobile plants around. They become an essential part of the space and its creation.


Creation 2014

Conceived by Ioannis Mandafounis, Fabrice Mazliah, May Zarhy
Realization in collaboration with Harry Schulz and the SAC Architecture Class of the Städelschule, Professor Dr. Johann Bettum
Light design & technical direction Harry Schulz
Sound design Johannes Helberger (kling klang klong)
Assistance Gianna Varbanova
Body mattresses Heleno Bernardi
SAC Architecture Class of the Städelschule Damjan Jovanovic, Sujata Chitlangia, Ronak Namdari, Helga Boldt, Sadaf Ahadi, Petr Khraptovich

Production Cie Projet 11 & MAMAZA

Co-production Künstlerhaus Mousonturm
Funded by the Doppelpass Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation.





Garden State ON TOUR
8 theaters, 8 cities, 5 countries

9-12 January 2014, Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm (Premiere), Frankfurt, Germany
27 March-6 april 2014, Changing Places Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
30 October-2 november 2014, 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice, Italy
5-10 July 2016, Festival de la Cité, Lausanne, Switzerland
5-9 October 2016, Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz, Austria
17-20 November 2016, PACT Zollverein, Dresden, Germany
20-24 September 2017, Terni Festival, Terni, Italy
4-8 September 2018, Kasern Basel, Basel, Switzerland