Louidgi Beltrame and Irene Kopelman are concerned here by so-called natural sites which they experience as much in the reality of their representations as in the representation of their reality, by means of specific recording tools and procedures. A camera for one, traps for the other. So here are the tools which produce a film—The Walking Tree—and a set of drawings—Leaf Litter Trap–, two works, therefore, which is tantamount to saying two conceptual spaces, between which is inserted a text by Santiago Garcia Navarro.
Louidgi Beltrame films in16 mm a large banyan tree in the botanical gardens in Calcutta. This tree, whose distinctive feature is the way it spreads rhizome-like over several hundred yards, is approached like a forest of clones, a metaphysical space where histories re-surface: the history of the invention and parallel development of photography and telegraphy in the context of colonized India, Linnaeus’ dream according to Foucault, reminiscences of the films of Ritwik Ghatak and Satyajit Ray, where reality and fiction met.
Leaf Litter Trap is a set of 31 drawings which Irene Kopleman produced during a research stint in two stations run by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI)—a scientific laboratory based in Panama, within which work, in particular, biologists studying the tropical forest and wetlands. Irene Kopelman decided first of all to follow the scientists and study their working methods in the field, and, as she walked in the forest, she discovered mysterious objects—small tubular PVC constructions. These objects turn out to be used for collecting plants falling from trees—sorts of leaf traps which the artist then uses to approach, record and represent the site based on an experimental protocol.
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