The Sound of the Fallen Tree

 

During the past year I have been working on a body of art work in which I try to reveal the intimate relation and permeability that I find between nature, culture and politics and the knowledge that stems from this relationship.

The resulting work was shown recently in Buenos Aires at Ignacio Liprandi Arte Contemporáneo under the name of The sound of the fallen tree. The title of the show refers to the philosophical riddle that raises questions regarding perception and knowledge of reality: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I am not interested in dealing with an answer to this question, but in using it as a shortcut into a poetic dimension.

The sound of the fallen tree (a tree which already fell, rather than being in the act of falling) refers to a state of mind in which the understanding of reality is irrational, emotional and intuitive, a dimension that makes us doubt about what we thought we knew.

Texts

Introductory text by Gabriela Salgado

Press

The fine thread of transformation, by Gabriela Schevach
Mapa de las sombras, by Mariano Soto
Una vuelta con evocaciones, by Fabián Lebenglik
La inmanencia de algo irreparable, by Ana María Battistozzi

Credits

Photograph by Ariel Authier

CHAPTERS

Mountain

The phrase on top of the sticks’ construction -taken from an engineering book- is a rational statement: The process of falling to bits reveals key facts of construction. However, in combination with the shadow it produces, the fragility of the structure that supports it, and how it moves when the spectator walks by, it creates a sense of corporal unbalance that modifies that rational judgment, as the shadow becomes an ominous anticipation of the collapse the phrase warns about.

Construction made out of 1400 2 mm x 2mm pine spruce strips, light projection.
Variable dimensions, approx. 180 x 150 x 200 cm
2009/2011
Edition of 2 (English – Spanish) MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) collection (Spanish version)

Credits

Photographs by: 1, ©Ariel Authier 2,3,5 and 6, ©Claudia Fontes 4,7,8 and 9, ©Gustavo Lowry

 

Map

Installation made out of black cotton thread, museum wax and natural and artificial found objects.

Variable dimensions (as shown in picture, approx. 180 x 240 x 200 cm)
Brighton/Buenos Aires 2011

 

Song

Black cotton thread, fabric and object.

Song I (object)
180 x 60 x 40 cm

Song II (embroidery)
60 x 40 cm
Brighton/Buenos Aires 2011

Credits

Photographs by:
1,2,3 and 4 ©Gustavo Lowry
5, 6, 7 and 8 ©Claudia Fontes

 

Training

A hunting sight-hound is followed by a camera that imitates all his moves while roaming over the Sussex countryside: the pursuing camera tries to catch up when the dog sprints, stops when he stops and dodge trees and obstacles in an attempt at reversing the usual sense of control between dog and trainer. At a point, the dog finally takes control of the point of view, as the camera is attached to his side, and the whole scene becomes chaotic and irrational. The spectator perceives a physical sense of unbalance and loss of control just before being confronted by the animal’s stare.

Training
DVD colour, to be projected on wall
9:39 min
Brighton, 2011
Edition 3+ 1AP

 

Footnote

Porcelain
20 x 10 x 5cm
Brighton, 2011
Unique piece

Credits

Photographs by:
1 ©Claudia Fontes
2 and 3 ©Gustavo Lowry

 

The What and the How

The What and the How (Berkeley’s tree) refers to a concrete meaningful turning point in the history of thought, speared amongst others by George Berkeley in the XVIII century. The piece quotes a riddle initiated by him and still evolving that refers to the possibility of unperceived existence: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”. The piece started being modelled in multiple sessions by a real fallen tree in the woods, initially trying to reconstruct the broken pieces into an upright tree. This raw clay standing tree was taken afterwards to the studio and left to fall, the broken pieces being used to reconstruct the original fallen tree. The choice of material for the piece plays with one of the main properties of porcelain, which is its resonance. The sound of the broken porcelain is therefore trapped in the history of the object and refers to the riddle: what are we able to perceive and how.

2014
Porcelain body flax paper clay
Variable dimensions, about 20 x 130 x 35 cm

Credits

Photographs by: ©Gustavo Lowry