The Invisible Tree

The “invasion” in itself consisted of planting in the park a small tree which I carved in green wood, the size of a bonsai tree, with the idea that it would grow into a real one.

On a piece of European birch tree, which I found in the park after the spring pruning, I carved a model of a historical tree in Argentina, whose image came accidentally to me by mail.

I explained to Lotty that it is possible to grow a tree from a green piece of wood, and that my intention was for that small representation of a tree to grow, after some years, into a real tree, which would engulf my model. I also told her that only she and I would know the exact location in the park for this tree and its peculiar history. Lotty volunteered to take care of the tree and to monitor its growth on a daily basis.

After a month, Lotty told me that the tree had disappeared. After an intense search in the park, someone left an anonymous call in my studio promising to give the tree back in exchange for a reward. I decided then to get it back by other means: I asked Lotty to the tell the story we had both cultivated, whilst filming her. Unexpectedly, Lotty decided to draw the tree for the camera. The tree finally appeared through her memory.

This process of translation at various levels -between reality and fiction, nature and cultural representation, memory and drawing- facilitated an affectional encounter of which both came out grateful, even if we could not understand each other in our respective languages.

The Invisible Tree
Felt tip pen on paper
21 x 27 cm
Amsterdam, 1996
Unique piece

You can view the whole project as a PDF file