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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Half Dose #61: Forestal

Browsing the web to find some south of the equator projects to make up for the admittedly north-centric buildings featured on this and my weekly page, I came across Forestal, an installation at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile by Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects.

HD61a.jpg
[installation diagram | image source]

I could find very little information beyond the imagery, but I did discover (via eldivan) that 27,5000 sheets of office paper and 120,000 steel staples were used in the construction of the piece.

HD61b.jpg
[installation diagram | image source]

At first I am reminded of Tadao Ando's Gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago, a small room he designed for the display of Japanese screens. The architect inserted partial-height square columns in the middle of the space, leaving the screens to be viewed behind glass at the perimeter. The columns imply the changing aspects of moving about the screens, as one is not permitted to see the latter in such a way.

HD61c.jpg
[installation photo | image source]

I'm also reminded of Tod William and Billie Tsien's installation at the Liquid Stone exhbition at the National Building Museum a few years ago. Their "forest" of rebar affected not only how people viewed the exhibition, but also how people viewed concrete, acknowleding the dependence of one material on another (concrete on steel).

HD61d.jpg
[installation photo | image source]

Of course these formal similarities do not extend to this installation's apparent raision d'etre: creating a symbolic forest from the material created from a real forest. The paper not only resembles bark in its texture, more immediately recalling what the installation refers to in name and form, it asks the visitor if one replaces the other. Does paper justify the destruction of trees? Do we see them as one and the same in our minds, just in different states, like water and ice? Surely more questions arise from these few images, testament to the power of an apprently simple idea layered with meaning.

HD61e.jpg
[installation photo | image source]

Links:
:: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
:: Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects
:: archporn
:: eldivan

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