Kat. Zentrum Paul Klee Bern

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Peter Fischer, Brigitt Bürgi
texts (German/English) by Peter Fischer, Robert Macfarlane and Maria Bremer, Simone Büsch-Küng, Delphine Calmettes
184 p with 90 coloured illustrations
265 x 195 mm, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-146-4

34,00 €

Thinking About Trees

Peter Fischer and his team have gathered about 100 works for the exhibition and the volume ABOUT TREES. Be it the huge rags stumps by Berlinde De Bruyckere, shimmering waxen and wrapped in giant rags, or the oil painting of a sparse forest with fragments of a Corbusier building in the background by Peter Doig; the mighty, upside-down black-and-white photograph of an oak tree by Rodney Graham or the picture of a detonated fruit tree by Michael Sailstorfer: these works of art always depict the tree as a diversely interpretable motif. In particular, it is about how the subject tree in a symbolic way »may raise fundamental questions of existence«. Art, in contrast to natural sciences and religion, has an advantage as it only has to raise questions, not give answers. Thus, it can reveal the tree as »a symbol, mirror and object of projection«, demonstrate how it represents life and/or death. Trees, however, are also suitable as a theme for »clashes and inspirations«, since it is lends itself to trace the story of human relationship with nature in an exemplary way, while, at the same time, pointing out that the dichotomy between nature and culture need not necessarily lead to destruction. According to Robert Macfarlane in his contribution »Buchenhain«, from a branch or the crown of a tree, man views the world not only in a liberated way, but he can even feel safe in it, as a kind of hybrid of »tree and man«. Accordingly, as the editor of the volume Peter Fischer points out, the tree is also ideally suited as a »symbol of imaginary worlds and embodiment of actual worlds«, for instance when it begins to speak like in fairy tales, formulating its own laws; and "long-lasting and durable, trees also have the ability to grant a specific identity to their location and environment. As a striking object, the tree contributes to the individual image of a place. It bears witness to the history of its location. The law is administered and implemented under a tree, there are celebrations and feasts.«

Artists: Carlos Amorales, Ursula Biemann & Paulo Tavares, Merijn Bolink, Louise Bourgeois, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Mark Dion, Peter Doig, Valérie Favre, Anya Gallaccio, Rodney Graham, Katie Holten, John Isaacs, Naoko Ito, Wiliam Kentridge, Anselm Kiefer, Paul Klee, Rosemary Laing, Žilvinas Landzbergas, Ndary Lo, Paul McCarthy, Ana Mendieta, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Paul Morrison, Shirin Neshat, Jill Orr, Renzo Piano, Pipilotti Rist, Ugo Rondinone, Julian Rosefeldt, Michael Sailstorfer, George Steinmann, Wolfgang Tillmans, Su-Mei Tse, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto

Zentrum Paul Klee Bern, 17/10/2015–24/1/2016