The Living Pyramid, Agnes Denes, 2015; Credit: © Agnes Denes, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects

As part of the Luxembourg Urban Garden (LUGA) exhibition in Luxembourg-Ville, Mudam Luxembourg will present The Living Pyramid, a 2015 project by artist Agnes Denes, on the esplanade of Park Dräi Eechelen.

This enormous pyramid-shaped garden of flowering plants will be on display from May to October 2025.

Agnes Denes, known for her environmental projects, accompanies her installations with a unique ritual: burying a time capsule filled with messages for future generations. Participants can take part in this process by answering a set of existential questions written by Agnes Denes, exploring themes of human values, the meaning of life and the future of humanity. The time capsule will be buried in the woods surrounding the park and is intended to be opened in a thousand years. Anyone interested can participate by filling in the questionnaire and sending it via email to had the opportunity to exchange on this upcoming project with the Director of Mudam Luxembourg, Bettina Steinbrügge. Please tell us more about how the Luxembourg Urban Garden exhibition fits into Mudam Luxembourg's mission. 

Bettina Steinbrügge: Today, eco-responsibility is at the heart of museum discussions. Both in substance and in form. The contemporary issues, including climate change or capitalist extractivism, are obviously approached and discussed throughout the museum’s programming. From a broader point of view, the definition of the living and how to exhibit it is also a question that arises poignantly. On form: how to become energetically more virtuous is a stimulating challenge for museums, often large buildings, requiring regulated temperatures for proper conservation of works. Besides, since the 1970s, artists have worked with nature and their environment. Forerunners, they laid the foundations of a new relationship with the living world, criticising the nature/culture separation which defines the Western world. At the pressing hour of these great challenges, a contemporary art museum finds a natural place in accompanying an educational project such as that of LUGA. What inspired the decision to showcase Agnes Denes' The Living Pyramid as part of this exhibition?

Bettina Steinbrügge: Agnes Denes is a pioneer of environmental art and eco-art. Since the 1970s, she has created work that questions our relationship to our environment and the future of humanity. The Living Pyramid is one of her most emblematic works. It combines human genius, architecture and mathematics (through the pyramid), nature (plants) and our projection into the future (transmission to future generations, time capsule), human time and geological time. How will this "Living Pyramid" be different from the 2015 one in New York (if at all)?

Bettina Steinbrügge: At each occurrence, the plants are different (local). The inclusion of living things such as plants and grasses means that the pyramid does not and can never be the same, it depends on natural conditions, the seasons, the climate, etc. It is a philosophical work, in a sense. It is partly composed of living elements, which we can accompany, but not constrain. What impact do you hope the collaborative project will have on visitors or the Luxembourg community? 

Bettina Steinbrügge: A visual and a sensitisation impact. Visually, the pyramid will function as a signal, thanks to its dimensions and location (in front of Luxenbourg-Ville, Luxembourg’s old town). Considering sensitisation, in itself, the project is an awareness-raising for our environment. The work is evolving, it will not be the same in May and October. Raising awareness among urban residents about the cycles of the seasons, re-discovery of the rhythms of the plant world, from the hatchings of spring to the autumn frost. There is also an educational component around the pyramid, schools will be invited to accompany the creation of the pyramid. They will participate in the choices of plants and their planting during installation.