Clothed Trees

Saalachau, Bad Reichenhall

From the catalogue:
How many clothes do we own? How many do we need? Why do we dress again and again, depending on the occasion, need for recognition, activity or weather? Dressing is the basic theme for the artist duo from Bad Reichenhall and they have found a perfect location for a large-scale installation in the dimensions of a floodplain forest: the Nonner Au!

Transposing human behavior onto tree trunks creates an ironic dislocation and holds up a mirror to society but with a smile. The idea of dressing and disguising can still be understood and justified in relation to humans, but when transposed to tree trunks, it not only acquires an air of absurdity, but also stands as a reminder of the immoderateness and lunacy of human activity. Interventions of this kind, which supposedly serve to protect nature, often lead to problems and are owed more to commerce, efficiency or greed than to the thought of the welfare of nature.

Klaus Oesterreich and Stefan Rohrmoser collect the most absurd materials and use them to create new clothes for tree trunks. Although the artists usually use the basic material wood for their work, shaping it into aesthetic products with their hands and tools, turning and finely working it, in this case ready-made materials, often waste materials are collected and reassembled. With the materials of the clothes and their wearers, new levels of meaning are created that lead deep into society. The artists pay special attention to the sustainability of the artistic activity, since the materials are second-hand or originate in regional proximity, such as the wool shorn from local sheep, which has the shortest transport route behind it.

For the artists, the height of the human eye is a serious parameter: it should be the standard for all things, the standard that they apply to their own actions and that they demand for all human behavior. In this case, 1.7m is the dress size of any tree dress and reminds us of the human scale. The extraordinary fashion show of the tree trunks, so colorful and playful, not only celebrates our dressing mania and takes it ad absurdum, but is a call to moderation, admonishes our intemperance, our greed and all the brazen demands of our society on nature!

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