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Planetary Forest: Bring the forest into the garden


Artist Mathias Kessler accompanied the event with his camera and will artistically process the material in a short film. The result will be available on YouTube.


Click here to download a PDF version of the event description.




The participatory artwork Planetary Forest: Bring the Forest into the Garden refers to the scientific and cultural construction of worlds. Placed on a free-standing green area next to the newly built greenhouses of the Botanical Garden Giessen, the regional forest soil is relocated and recreated as a living sculpture. The planetary material originates from an ecological disturbance area in the city forest of Rosbach vor der Höhe, Hesse, which was severely affected by forest dieback. The supposedly natural forest is carried into the human-made world of the botanical garden. There, it serves as an element of ethical, aesthetic, ecological, and political disruption that raises awareness for forest dieback and showcases the artificiality of our conception of nature. Like a crack in the perfectly constructed reality, the artwork sparks discussions on the harmful impacts of climate change and human societies on local forests, reflected on in a planetary context.

Our fellows invite to participate!

A project by Dr. Claudia Hartl, Mathias Kessler, and Clemens Finkelstein
Fellows at the Panel on Planetary Thinking of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen

With the kind support of the Botanical Garden Giessen, Neuer Kunstverein Giessen e.V., and the city Rosbach vor der Höhe

June 18 - July 2 | »growing« exhibition @ Neuer Kunstverein Giessen e.V.
The exhibition will grow over three weeks to document the preparation, execution,
and projected afterlife of the »Planetary Forest« live.

June 23 | 9 am - 5 pm | performance @ City Forest Rosbach v. d. H.
Narrative walkabout through the Rosbach city forest introduces participants
(registration via e-mail) to the complexity of the forest with all their senses.
Afterwards collective gathering of forest matter as building material for the sculpture.

June 24 | 12 - 5 pm | art installation @ Botanical Garden Giessen
June 24 | 5 - 7 pm | grand opening @ Botanical Garden Giessen
Construction of the forest-sculpture in the Botanical Garden, together with
participants of the performative excursion in the city forest of Rosbach v. d. H.
[Botanical Garden, Senckenbergstr. 6, 35390 Giessen]

June 25 | 1 - 3 pm | guided tour @ Botanical Garden Giessen
June 25 | 3 pm | exhibition opening @ Neuer Kunstverein Giessen e.V.
Guided tour/presentation of the sculpture »Planetary Forest« in the Botanical
Garden and subsequent opening of the accompanying exhibition at the
Neuer Kunstverein Giessen e.V. [Licherstr., Nahrungsberg Corner, 35394 Giessen]


Interested in becoming part of the participatory artwork?
Registration via
Transport organized for a limited number of participants from Giessen
[registration due: June 22, 2022]