The Invisible Tree

The Invisible Tree is one of three stages of Plan of Invasion to Holland.  It was the “invasion” in itself and consisted of planting in Flevopark a small tree which I carved in green timber with the intention to make it 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 tree native to Argentina. The carving was the size of a bonsai tree.

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