nous les arbres at fondation cartier pour l’art contemporain sheds new light on trees
 

nous les arbres at fondation cartier pour l’art contemporain sheds new light on trees

with the effects of deforestation — both human-driven and natural — being keenly felt around the world, an exhibition at fondation cartier pour l’art contemporain echoes the latest scientific research and seeks to shed new light on trees. bringing together a community of artists, botanists, and philosophers, the exhibit — which is on view in paris until january 5, 2020 — is organized around several large ensembles of works, giving voice to numerous figures who, through their aesthetic or scientific journey, have developed a strong, intimate link with trees.

 

designboom attended the exhibition, aptly titled ‘trees’, to discover more about the botanical species and their unexpected qualities.


installation view of ‘trees’ at fondation cartier pour l’art contemporain
image by luc boegly

 

 

the display at fondation cartier pour l’art contemporain, showcases the sensory and memory capacities of trees, as well as their communication skills — existing in symbiosis with other species and exerting a climatic influence. the exhibition posits that these ‘unexpected faculties’ could be the answer to many of today’s environmental problems. punctuated by several large ensembles, the exhibit explores three narrative threads. firstly, our knowledge of trees, from botany to new plant biology; secondly, aesthetics, from naturalistic contemplation to dreamlike transposition; and lastly, trees’ current devastation recounted via documentary observations and pictorial testimonies.


installation view | image by luc boegly

 

 

orchestrated with anthropologist bruce albert, the project revolves around a number of individuals who have developed a unique relationship with trees, whether intellectual, scientific, or aesthetic. for example, the botanist stefano mancuso, a pioneer of plant neurobiology and advocate of the concept of plant intelligence, has collaborated with artist thijs biersteker to create an installation that seeks to make the invisible, visible. using sensors, mancuso and biersteker reveal plants’ reaction to the environment and pollution, as well as the phenomenon of photosynthesis, root communication, and the idea of plant memory. elsewhere, traveling botanist francis hallé presents a testimony of the encounter between science and sensibility.


installation view | image © designboom

 

 

at the heart of the exhibition lies a reflection on the relationship between humans and trees, which is also the subject of raymond depardon’s film. it paints the portrait of the trees that shade village squares through the words of those who are familiar with them. artist and sower, fabrice hyber has planted some 300,000 tree seeds in his valley in vendée, and offers a poetic and personal observation of the plant world in his paintings, questioning the principles of rhizome growth, energy and mutation, mobility and metamorphosis.


installation view | image by luc boegly

 

 

meanwhile, brazilian artist luiz zerbini composes lush landscapes, organizing the imaginary meeting of trees, borrowed from tropical botanical gardens, and the markers of urban modernity. elsewhere, cesare leonardi, in collaboration with franca stagi, presents a typology of trees compiled for the purposes of the design of urban parks. other highlights include the ghostly silhouettes of johanna calle’s tall trees, the film EXIT by architects diller scofidio + renfro, and the dreamlike world of paraguayan film-maker paz encina, who offers an internalized image of the tree as a refuge for memory and childhood.


view of lago quadrado by luiz zerbini
image by thibaut voisin

 

 

the garden of fondation cartier, a natural extension of the exhibition, was created in 1994 by artist lothar baumgarten. the public are invited to stroll through the trees which, like the majestic lebanese cedar planted by chateaubriand in 1823, inspired jean nouvel to design the institution as ‘an architecture of reflections and transparency’. available by scanning QR codes, botanical factsheets are devoted to each of the 24 species of trees found in the garden. the setting also includes giuseppe penone’s bronze tree sculpture, a piece by agnès varda, specially imagined for the project.


installation view | image by luc boegly

 

 

available online, a five-part web-series reveals the relationships that six of the artists and scientists featured in the exhibition have with the plant world. by inviting us to consider trees as the essential actors in our world, the exhibition aims to restore the position that anthropocentrism and zoocentrism have taken from them. discover ‘trees’ at fondation cartier pour l’art contemporain in paris from now until january 5, 2020.


installation view | image by luc boegly


installation view | image by luc boegly


view of work from quasi oasis series by sebastián mejía


installation view of work by joseca
image by luc boegly


work by joseca


work by joseca


installation view | image by thibaut voisin


work by clemente juliuz


installation view | image by thibaut voisin


view of cadernos de viagem: yãkoana by adriana varejão

 

 

project info:

 

exhibition: nous les arbres / trees
venue: fondation cartier pour l’art contemporain, paris
dates: july 12, 2019 – january 5, 2020
curators: bruce albert, hervé chandès, isabelle gaudefroy
associate curators: hélène kelmachter, marie perennes
project officer: juliette lecorne
artists and contributors of the exhibition:
efacio álvarez, herman álvarez, fernando allen, fredi casco, claudia andujar, eurides asque gómez, thijs biersteker, jake bryant, josé cabral, johanna calle, jorge carema, alex cerveny, raymond depardon, claudine nougaret, diller scofidio + renfro, mark hansen, laura kurgan, ben rubin, robert gerard pietrusko , ehuana yaira, paz encina, charles gaines, francis hallé, fabrice hyber, joseca, clemente juliuz, kalepi, salim karami, mahmoud khan, angélica klassen, esteban klassen, george leary love, cesare leonardi, franca stagi, stefano mancuso, sebastián mejía, ógwa, marcos ortiz, tony oursler, giuseppe penone, santídio pereira, nilson pimenta, osvaldo pitoe, miguel rio branco, afonso tostes, agnès varda, adriana varejão, cássio vasconcellos, luiz zerbini

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    501,537 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample