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The lonesome tree

Frankfurt am Main 2020

Kathi Kæppel implemented the light–installation The lonesome tree (Der einsame Baum) for the exhibition as part of Luminale–Biennale für Lichtkunst 2020. The installation of four animated drawings and sound was created for the exhibition site, the Weißfrauen–Diakoniekirche in Frankfurt am Main. The location, the surroundings and the works are just as much interlocked as they rub against each other.

The project title refers to the painting of the same name by Caspar David Friedrich (Der einsame Baum, 1822) and thus refers to this year’s focus of the Luminale Digital Romantic.

The starting point of the work are historical representations and descriptions of the “tree of life”, which stood in paradise, the tree garden, to which the artist reacts. The tree of life belongs to the mythology of many peoples and is an ancient symbol of the cosmic order. As a world axis deeply rooted in the ground and at the same time striving towards heaven, it becomes a mediator between heaven, earth and the underworld, the past, the now and the future. The artist contrasts the order of the romantic representation with a complex depiction of decay and destruction that relates to the state of nature today. The tree represents the cycle of life that seems interrupted today. As a metaphor, the tree poses the question of the state of the tree garden in the anthropozaen.

The drawn fragments, which testify to the destruction of the Baumgarten, overlap in a deep stratification to form a spatial overall composition. Kaeppel’s work thus creates a network around desire and the human destruction of nature. Dialogues and cross-references occur between the individual positions in the room. The non-linear staging overlaps with the recipients’ movement and releases the topic for an open discussion.

Multi channel video–installation, 4K–Video, 4096 x 2160px, color, sound, 4x45sec
Digital drawings on acryl LED light panel, 70 x 100 cm

Animation: Leonard Ermel, Ailun Jiang, Studio Kathi Kæppel
Sound: Holger Marseille
Photo: Martin Url

Kindly supported by:
Diakonisches Werk für Frankfurt und Offenbach
Evangelische Kirche in Frankfurt und Offenbach
Kulturamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
SATIS&FY
DGJ Architektur