An extraordinary forest has taken root in an unexpected place—the Wörthersee football Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria. Designed by Swiss artist Klaus Littmann in collaboration by Enea Landscape Architecture, the temporary art intervention — titled FOR FOREST — The Unending Attraction of Nature — consists of nearly 300 native Central European trees, with some weighing up to six tons each. Free to visit, the monumental art installation is Austria’s largest public art installation to date and was created to call attention to climate change and deforestation.
The idea for FOR FOREST was inspired by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner’s ’The Unending Attraction of Nature,’ a 1970 pencil drawing that shows a hyper-industrialized dystopian world so ruined by deforestation that trees have been reduced to objects on display in a stadium. FOR FOREST recreates the image on a grand scale in the Wörthersee Stadium, which can seat up to 30,000 spectators, that now contains a diverse range of tree species including silver birch, alder, aspen, white willow, hornbeam, field maple and common oak.
“Rallying in support of today’s most pressing issues on climate change and deforestation, FOR FOREST aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future,” reads a statement in the press release. “It 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.”
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The art installation is open to the public from 10 am until 10 pm daily and is illuminated at night by floodlights. The temporary and free intervention will end on October 27, 2019, after which the forest will be carefully replanted on a public site near the stadium, where it will serve as a “living forest sculpture.” A pavilion will be erected to document the project as well.
Images © Gerhard Maurer and Unimo