Hanging Gardens of Babylon, 2003/2015

Hanging Gardens of Babylon, 2003/2015

Originally created for a show at Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia in 2003, Hanging Gardens of Babylon then spent a decade as the centerpiece of Dina’s South Philadelphia studio. In 2015 the piece was accessioned by URBN Urban Outfitters, and was installed at their Navy Yard Headquarters.


Reinstalling Hanging Gardens in the former Acid Bath Foyer of a shipbuilding warehouse presented interesting challenges. Dina originally suspended the 100+ segments from an 18’x18’x10’ industrial steel armature. The elements were at eye level, with open, winding paths for the viewer to walk through. At URBN the work is hung overhead in a 10’x30’ room. The high, narrow view is completely different from the 2003 installation, and yet the work retains its conceptual thrust. It also gains a dialogue with its post-industrial surroundings, now home to a company known for its own urban renewal initiatives.


The work is located in building 543 of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, an award-winning model of adaptive reuse. The building is open to the public during weekday business hours and has a welcoming coffee shop for both visitors and Navy Yard employees.


John Wind
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