The Boghossian Foundation presents the exhibition Trees for memories with works by 31 internationally renowned artists that take a very special stand for peace, one century after the end of the First World War.
All works have in common that their starting point is a square block of oak (30 x 30 x 30 cm). The wood originates from a section of the front in Alsace, and still bears traces of the war. Injuries to the wood, the encapsuled remains of metal projectiles and black discolouration make the wooden elements both relics and witnesses of the war.
For the occasion of Trees for memories, artists united to give a voice to these logs and tell their stories. The exhibition is intended to set an example of peaceful coexistence without violence and presents works from internationally renowned artists from countries militarily involved in the war, making the statement that art and artists can help to change the world, to a more peaceful coexistence.
Art can’t save people. However, the means of art makes dialogue possible, which invokes the action that can preserve humankind.” Günther Uecker
« During the First World War, trees were silent witnesses; if they could raise their voices, they would tell us a story of unspeakable suffering. Some of them were hit by artillery, maybe hand grenades, rifle bullets; all have seen the same horror. For one hundred years, the traces of it lay invisible under the bark of the trees – until today » says Mattijs Visser, curator of the collective show.
After an idea of Volker-Johannes Trieb, the works have been shown at the Varusschlacht Museum in Kalkriese and the German Bundestag in Berlin. The exhibition will be presented at the European Parlement in Brussels in November 2021 before being shown at the United Nations in New York, in 2022.
Aljoscha (Ukraine), Miroslaw Balka (Poland), Jean Boghossian (Armenia), Christian Boltanski (France), Monica Bonvicini (Italy), Wim Botha (South Africa), Greta Brătescu (Romania), Pedro Cabrita Reis (Portugal), Tony Cragg (United Kingdom), Berlinde De Bruyckere (Belgium), Braco Dimitrijevi (Croatia), Cevdet Erek (Turkey), Fiona Hall (Australia), Sadaharu Horio (Japan), IRWIN (Slovenia), Ilya & Emilia Kabakov (Russia), Anish Kapoor (India), David McCracken (New Zealand), Hermann Nitsch (Austria), Roman Ondak (Slovakia), Sándor Pinczehelyi (Hungary), Sean Scully (Ireland), Kiki Smith (USA), Nedko Solakov (Bulgaria), Takis (Greece), Rirkrit Tiravanija (Thailand) , Jana Sterbak (Canada), Raša Todosijevi (Serbia), Günther Uecker (Germany), Huang Yong Ping (China), Jana Želibská (Czech Republic).
Mattijs Visser (born 1958 in The Hague, The Netherlands) studied architecture in Delft, and organizes since 1984 performances and art exhibitions with artists as Ilya Kabakov, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Jan Fabre, Robert Wilson, Sooja Kim, Wim Delvoye, Laurie Anderson, El Anatsui, Anish Kapoor, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tino Sehgal, Spencer Tunick and Carsten Höller.
As head of exhibitions at Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf (2001–08), he curated historical exhibitions such as Late Works by Andy Warhol (2004), Dubuffet and Art Brut, the travelling show Africa Remix (2005), and Caravaggio (2006).
He curated exhibitions for the Royal Academy of Arts London, Bonjour Russia, masterworks from the four Russian Museums (2007), the ZERO show for the Quadriennale Düsseldorf (2006), the Moscow Biennale, and the SKY-event with Otto Piene for the Nuit Blanche in Paris. In Venice, he conceived the prize-winning exhibition Artempo (2007) at the Venetian Palazzo Mariano Fortuny with the collection of Axel Vervoordt and the City of Venice. In 2009, for the Venice Biennale, he curated together with Daniel Birnbaum the large Gutai show at the Central Pavilion. He is the founding director of the international ZERO foundation in Düsseldorf which projects focus on historical and contemporary art, with an international network of prominent writers, researchers, and producers. In 2013, the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania invited him and Jean-Hubert Martin to organize the traveling show Theater of the World. After receiving prices for best design and lighting, the show traveled from Hobart to Maison Rouge in Paris. Visser is head of the Socle du Monde Biennale in Herning, Denmark.
Location: In the Project Space of the Villa Empain
From 4 June to 24 October 2021