IN THE FOREST – a cultural history
The forests – used by people for centuries – have faced increasing destruction since the 19th century on account of industrialisation. Figures such as Paul Sarasin and later on Bruno Manser came forward and campaigned for the protection of the forests. The exhibition shows our relationship with the forest through representation in literature and art: once exaggerated by the romantics as a safe haven from civilisation, artists’ depictions of the forest are today dominated by the subject of climate change.

With works by Guido Baselgia, Denise Bertschi, Julian Charrière, Franz Gertsch, Klaus Littmann, Ugo Rondinone, Shirana Shahbazi, Thomas Struth and photographs by James Barclay, Julien Coquentin, Erik Pauser, Mutang Urud, Alberto Venzago. Until 17.7.2022

Landesmuseum Zürich guided tours, opening hours, tickets

In the courtyard of the Landesmuseum stands the walk-in art intervention Arena for a Tree by Klaus Littmann. The arena offers 50 visitors a seat with a view of the main actor: a dead tree, a memorial to the destruction of nature. Until 8.5.22

Since antiquity, the arena has directed all gazes equally to the action in the center. In the Arena for a Tree the rows of seats grow up to a horizontally structured bowl. Their slats protect without enclosing and shield without completely stopping the wind. This is how the protagonist finds his stage in the city. Especially in the densely built-up area, the tree has become a protégé. As deadwood, it is also food and nesting place: if the large trunk dies, a natural cycle takes its course in miniature.

“Arena for a tree” is the art intervention by Klaus Littmann. In the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, he had put an entire forest in the center of attention in 2019. As a seedling of that major event, “Arena for a Tree” will remain on the move: depending on the destination, climate and season, the monument to life will take a different tree into its midst.

With kind support of the Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger

more about ARENA FOR A TREE, Basel 2021 / Zurich 2022 / Venice 2024