For Forest, or when you can’t see the trees for the wood

Re-visiones, 2020, Nº. 10

On 8th September 2019, the “international freelance mediator of contemporary art” Klaus Littmann opened For Forest-The Unending Attraction of Nature in Klagenfurt (Austria), a monumental art installation of almost three hundred trees in the city’s main stadium, the Wörthersee-Stadion, accompanied by a series of cultural events. This project, which took as its starting point a drawing from 1970-71 by Max Peintner, and which claimed to have ecological aims, took advantage of a wide range of institutional conditions and needs, as well as corporate links of dubious social commitment. The following text sets out these circumstances in detail, in order to contrast the central aspects of Littmann’s work with a methodological framework of Marxist heterodoxy in relation to the forest, the land, dispossession and exploitation. By exploring the cultural and aesthetic imaginaries contained in For Forest, this article investigates how these characteristics can be instrumental to the prevailing universal and ahistorical idealism, as well as being useful for the hegemonic political-economic positions that help shape it.

Access the text here.