Picea Abies – The productively spruce

Performative Installation (2014)
Kunsthaus Graz (AT)

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Picea Abies “ The productively spruce

Markus Jeschaunigs material is energy. As the artistic visionary, in his “poor” and highly poetic works he is marrying the conditions of the economy with the simple logic of ecology. Be it the unused exhaust air from a Pizzeria in Graz, which is to be used for growing bananas, or an attempt of an perpetual motion machine, that 2013 used the art energy as a visitor energy to power the eternal machine in exhibition Measures of saving the world at the > rotor < Centre for Contemporary Art. The spectacular airship ride from Graz to Maribor in 2012 has dealt in a sense, with the fate of a flight energy that although failed economically, possibly regarded as the most visionary of the 20th century. With the installation of Picea Abies. Die produktive Fichte now he explores off economic and well-known qualities of the “ in this country since the 19th century for rapid wood production widespread “ profitable tree other uses: For the art and gastronomy context the Norway spruce will be space aerator, crop and parasitic sculpture. Exterior and interior are connected by a liberating gesture of oblique humor and gentle institutional critique; the art work serves itself as a from public space fed and dependent consumption plant.
With a share of 60% in the Austrian forest stock, the Norway spruce (Picea Abies) is the most important domestic species and therefore, a dominant actor in the ecosystem. Their fast growth, frost resistance and unpretentiousness guarantee high productivity and let it become the most important forestry tree species in the last centuries. Due to excellent wood properties of spruce wood it has a wide range of applications from of timber to music instruments.

In Jeschaunigs installation at the Kunsthaus a spruce, 9 m long, uprooted from the forest, penetrates and crosses the Café Luise in the Kunsthaus Graz. As a natural, but powerful foreign matter it breaks the boundary between hermetic art room, dining room and outdoor space. The roots of spruce remain cut off in outer space. Preservation of life energy leads only in consumption to new life: In the opening night, the Norway spruce mutates into an edible sculpture whose products, including homemade Maiwipferlsaft (spruce syrup), marmalade and liquor can be consumed. (Text: Katrin Bucher Trantow)

Markus Jeschaunig, Frenzi Rigling and Larissa Kopp speak at the presentation on how to deal with the living material in their art work. Questions about the sustainability of human intervention and the importance of the temporary are discussed here and compared with role models of creativity.

The installation will remain until Friday, 08.22. at Café Luise at the Kunsthaus Graz. At the closing event, a lecture on the landscape scientist Hansjürg Küster and artist talk with Markus Jeschaunig will take place.

*) The installation represents an artistic reflection of the substantive work on the Austrian Pavilion for the Expo 2015 in Milan, that is currently planned by the “team.breathe.austria”. In the center of this project are the subjects air, climate and performance of the forest.

Thanks to Christoph, Michael P., Florian, Georg, Lara, Michael H., Klaus, Andreas and Erdbau Wippel

Photography by UMJ / N. Lackner, AintheB

In the context of the project “Menu 2014”.  Material samples

Cafe Louise / Kunsthaus Graz