The Cartier Foundation exhibition, called We the Trees (Nous Les Arbres), from 12 July to 10 November 2019 aimed to bring together a community of artists, botanists, researchers, and philosophers.
Organized around several large ensembles of works, the exhibition gives voice to people who present the beauty and biological wealth of trees.
About 50 artists from around the world contributed to the exhibition curated by Bruce Albert, Hervé Chandès, Isabelle Gaudefroy, and associate curators.
Featuring drawings, paintings, photographs, films, and installations by artists from Latin America, Europe, United States, Iran, and from indigenous communities such as the Nivaclé and Guaraní from Gran Chaco, Paraguay, as well as the Yanomami Indians from the Amazon forest, the exhibition explores three narrative threads: (1) our knowledge of trees, (2) aesthetics, and (3) deforestation.
For example, botanist and plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, explores the concept of plant intelligence, and has collaborated with Thijs Biersteker to create an installation that, with sensors, reveals the reaction of trees to the environment and pollution. The Raymond Depardon film portrays plane trees and oaks that shade village squares through the words of the villagers. Artist and seed sower, Fabrice Hyber, has planted some 300,000 tree seeds in his valley in Vendée and offers a poetic and personal observation of the plant world in his paintings.
Part of the exhibition is the outside garden created in 1994 by artist Lothar Baumgarten. It includes a Lebanese cedar planted by Chateaubriand in 1823.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls