Omnipresent and essential to life, trees have been underestimated by biologists. But in recent years, they have been the subject of scientific discoveries that have allowed us to see these oldest and largest members of the community of living beings in a new light. Capable of sensory perception, showing complex communication skills, living in symbiosis with many other species and influencing the climate, trees are equipped with unexpected faculties whose discovery confirms what indigenous, traditional and local communities had long acknowledged. Featuring works by contemporary artists including forest people, scientific imagery, films, photographs and sound installations, the exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, strives to highlight the beauty, ingenuity and biological richness of trees, allowing us to see and hear these impressive protagonists of the living world that now find themselves also under increasing threat. Through paintings, drawings, photographs, scientific images, maps and texts by specialists, the catalogue published to accompany the exhibition invites the reader to dive into the fascinating and beautiful world of trees.
Bruce Albert is an anthropologist and committed advocate of the Brazilian Yanomami, with whom he has been working since 1975.
Emanuele Coccia is Associate Professor at the École des Hautes Études en sciences sociales, Paris, and author of The Life of Plants: A Metaphysics of Mixture.
Stefano Mancuso is Professor at Florence University, and a member of the Accademia dei Georgofili.