CURA.

CLAUDIA COMTE
I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees

Copenhagen Contemporary

Feb 8 – Sep 1, 2019

Share on:
Facebook
Twitter

The exhibition brings together sculpture, sound and 3D prototyping with the artist’s interest in archaeology, biodiversity and forestry.

Inside the hall, rows of six-metre-tall debarked spruce trees are positioned along a grid of millimetric precision that directly corresponds to a digitally printed graphic carpet. A large ceramic sculpture sits at the centre of this seemingly peaceful forest, which is enveloped by filtered light, sound and the mild scent of resin released by the pale spruces.

Moving through the exhibition, however, a collapse of order becomes apparent. The trunks have been struck by a powerful force and are suspended in a state of disorder. The geometrical grid of the carpet evokes the root system of the trees, which, via underground fungi networks, communicate with other trees along the forest floor. The grid – a structure which relays order and clarity – is also distorted, visualising the effects of this large-scale disturbance upon the forest ecosystem, above and below ground.

Comte’s particular interest in the forest stems from her childhood spent in the Swiss countryside. In a period when many traditional methods are being replaced by automated technologies, the artist highlights the virtues of traditional craftsmanship by prompting a dynamic conversation between organic forms, new media and rendering software. The spruce trees of I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees may be viewed as time capsules in the way the trunks’ annual rings grow at different rates depending on climate conditions. This is worth bearing in mind when walking among the spruces, all approximately one hundred years old.

1/4
 
2/4
 
3/4
 
4/4
 

A soundscape by composer and longtime collaborator Egon Elliut accompanies the exhibition. Composed to reflect the life and movements of the forest ecology in real time, visitors will hear an acoustic spectrum of past and present denizens, from dinosaurs to ants, as they inhabit the forest at different times of the day. A new seasonal soundscape will be devised in the spring to reflect the sounds of the forest in warmer months.
As a totalising experience of light, scent and sound, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees embraces the full force of nature.
At the same time, it is nature’s cemetery of felled trees, mirroring the effects of our current era in which human activity directly impacts Earth’s biological systems.

Visitors are invited to walk amongst the trees, climb the fallen trunks and take in the views of the collapsed forest. Evoking childhood memories of visiting the woods, visitors may carve their names or leave messages on the trunks. The artist also invites visitors to participate in a number of performances scheduled during the exhibition period.
Comte was personally involved in the entire process of sourcing the trees, felling, cutting and sanding the trunks. Importantly, for every tree felled the artist has planted two new trees.

CREDITS
Photos by Roman März

OTHER TIPS
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, artists like Cézanne and Matisse took up this motif to express evolving notions about the body, changing ideas about pleasure, one’s relationship to nature, and how the longing for the new (in art) potentially renews a broader and more inclusive understanding of what it means to live with or against societal changes. Greene Naftali, New York
Antoine Levi, Paris
Galerie Perrotin, Paris
Peres Projects, Berlin
(MERIEM) Ok Mom. So you’re going to play yourself, but as if you existed inside the world of the CAPS. You don’t really have to be in character. I wrote this monologue for your interview scene that we’re going to shoot at the pharmacy. It’s just there to give you ideas but you don’t have to stick to any script as long as you make us believe you’re on the CAPS island in the future (...) At C L E A R I N G, New York
The exhibition presents more than twenty works produced since 1998, including one of his first pieces, Lichtzwang (1998–ongoing), a series of 256 geometrical and abstract watercolors that constitute a sort of generative process of all his production. HangarBicocca, Milan
The Horses exemplifies Appriou’s remarkably expressive style and will invite the public into an imaginative world where figuration and mythology meet. PUBLIC ART FUND, New York
Modern Art, London