Shadows in the forest

Loris Gréaud, Gunpowder Forest Bubble, 2008

There is something enchanted about Loris Gréaud’s Gunpowder Forest Bubble (currently installed in Palazzo Grassi as part of the exhibition The World Belongs to You). By the light the moon, which hangs low in the shadowy forest, I can see that I am alone. The trees are bare and dark; they loom above me. There is a sense of theatre about the installation, albeit without a predetermined narrative. This is the forest as a fairytale space where anything is possible, and anything – perhaps especially – danger might be revealed. And there is danger here, notionally at least, for the stark carbonised trees are coated in gunpowder. Rationally I might know that the risk is minimal to non-existent, but still: gunpowder! That hardly seems safe.

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Small world

Mariele Neudecker, I don’t know how I resisted the urge to run, 1998

There is something oddly strange about the way the light streams through the trees in Mariele Neudecker’s I don’t know how I resisted the urge to run. But for the uneven ground of the forest floor, I think I’d want to run too. The trees are bare and though their trunks are healthily tall and straight their branches are short and spindly. That all is not well here is reinforced by the eeriness of the atmosphere; the scene is permeated by a slightly toxic-looking fog

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