Basel, Switzerland-based art collector and curator Klaus Littmann will plant 299 trees in the Wörthersee Stadium in the Austrian city of Klagenfurt as a statement on climate change. For Forest: The Unending Attraction of Nature, a temporary intervention scheduled to open on September 9, will be Austria’s largest public art installation to date.
Littmann’s project was inspired by a namesake artwork by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner. The pencil drawing “The Unending Attraction of Nature” (1970/71) depicts a forest transplanted into a soccer stadium against the backdrop of a factory smoke-ridden industrial city. Thousands of stadium-goers are seen viewing the forest as they would a soccer game.
Littmann sought to materialize the drawing into a living installation to “challenge our perception of nature and question its future,” according to the project’s press release. “The project seeks to become a memorial, reminding us that nature, which we so often take for granted, may someday only be found in specially designated spaces, as is already the case with animals in zoos,” the statement adds.
The installation will be overseen by the Swiss firm Enea Landscape Architecture to recreate “a native central European forest,” and hopes for it to take on a life of its own, including attracting wildlife.
Visitors will be able to see the forest from the stadium’s 30,000 seats, as depicted in the original drawing. The stadium will be open to the public between 10am and 10pm every day and will be lit by floodlights at night.
After Littmann’s intervention ends on October 27, 2019, the forest will be replanted on a public site close to the stadium, where it will be presented to the public as a “forest sculpture.”