Before you get to thinking you can go see this now, van Munster’s installation was actually back in 2004 as part of the temporary exhibition, “Mark”, for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The treehouse was built off site out of waste graphic material – mostly old veggie and fruit crates. Then tree and treehouse were hoisted into position on top of the building, balanced and held in place with guy wires. Van Munster accessed the makeshift shelter by ladder and at night a light would glow out of it when someone sat in there.
The installation was built on top of a 50 meter high, 12 story building, and the crate house was another 9 meters above the roof line. At the time, the building was apparently deserted (still seems to be, so says Google Maps), so it must have been interesting from the street level to see a tree sprouting from the building’s rooftop, let alone watch as a man climbed up and into it. Van Munster was asked to make a striking marker for the Stedelijk Museum CS building, which had some relation to graphic design. The remarkable, temporary installation was visible from November to December of 2004.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
Aside from being just plain cool, this treehouse project calls attention to the fact that we don’t need to purchase brand new materials to create art – there are tons of (oftentimes free) recycled materials to choose from.
Images ©Dick Duyves and René Gerritsen courtesy of Leonard van Munster