Instead of reaching for the stars, it could be said that French artist François Mechain would rather reach for the treetops. His installation entitled L'arbre aux échelles, translating informatively to “ladders tree,” is a literal and bigger-than-life interpretation of the phrase, featuring giant ladders stretching up into the boughs of tall trees.
The lofty installation was on display in the Parc du Château at the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire in Nice, France, from 2009-2011. There, several trees were adorned with impossibly tall, skinny ladders. Although one is accustomed to seeing a ladder reaching from the ground up to, well, someplace high, many of Mechain’s ladders divorced from the ground over time, making his work of art even more surreal. If it’s an issue of man vs. nature, it seems that nature might have a leg—or rather, a ladder—up.
The name, L’arbre aux échelles, is a poetic reference to an Italian novel about a boy who takes to the tall branches of trees as a method of escaping the stresses of mundane life. In the same way, the artist used his installation to invite viewers to at least entertain the idea of taking refuge in the treetops. Sounds good to me.
Via My Modern Met