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A Tree: Exploring Human-Tree Relationships and the Concept of Tree Time

Onomatopee's "A Tree" exhibition explores human-tree relationships and ecological symbiosis through the concept of tree time and arboreal kinship, running from July 13 to September 21.

A Tree,
Artists explore the relationships between people and trees
July 12–September 22, 2024

Opening event: July 12, 7:30–10:30pm, with a performance by Renée Bus

Book launch and finissage September 20, 7:30–10:30pm, free entrance and free drinks

Onomatopee’s New Exhibition “A Tree” Examines Human-Tree Connections and Ecological Symbiosis

From July 13 to September 21, Onomatopee presents “A Tree,” an exhibition that delves into the intricate relationship between humans and trees. Curated by Marjolein van der Loo, this exhibit explores how anthropomorphism can either strengthen our connection with trees or hinder objective understanding. The show features works by artists such as Sanne Vaassen, Gerbrand Burger, Hira Nabi, Manjot Kaur, Ingela Ihrman, Goldin+Senneby, Alice Ladenburg, and Roderick Hietbrink.

“A Tree” emphasizes vegetal agency and plant knowledge, particularly focusing on trees and their interactions with humans. Forester Peter Wohlleben notes that our misunderstanding of trees often stems from their slow pace, a concept the exhibition refers to as “tree time.” This idea highlights the long lifespans of trees, such as pines and Japanese cypress trees, which can live for thousands of years, prompting viewers to consider the importance of long-term ecological thinking.

Trees play a crucial role in creating soil, shaping landscapes, and regulating the climate. They produce oxygen, fuel, food, and shelter, forming ecosystems where numerous species coexist in symbiotic relationships. The exhibition aims to align human perception with tree time, showcasing research and artistic works that explore how we can better relate to these vital organisms.

“A Tree” also addresses the broader implications of modern individualism and short-term thinking, which contribute to climate disruption. By drawing inspiration from trees, the exhibition encourages a deeper reflection on our connection to earlier and future generations, promoting a more holistic and forward-thinking approach to environmental stewardship.

Commissioned by Onomatopee, “A Tree” activates the project’s multipurpose space through exhibitions, public programs, publications, and workshops. This exhibition marks the first iteration of a five-year program titled “A Tree, with a Bird, by a Woman, on Land, Under a Star,” each curated by van der Loo. This series blends folklore and critical research, creating an evolving narrative that examines our relationship with nature.

The exhibition is complemented by “A Tree, A reader on arboreal kinship,” an edited volume that features contributions from various artists and writers. This collection includes poetry, song, drawings, recipes, and essays, offering diverse perspectives on arboreal kinship.

Visitors can view “A Tree” at Onomatopee every Friday and Saturday between 12-5 PM, providing ample opportunity to engage with this thought-provoking exploration of human-tree relationships and ecological symbiosis.

Onomatopee Projects
Lucas Gasselstraat 2a
5613LB Eindhoven
The Netherlands
Hours: Friday–Sunday 12–5pm