'How to Build A Forest' – Art Project Goes Up, Comes Down in 8 Hours

How to build a Forest, art installation by PearlD'Amour, photo by Greg Williams

Temporary, or “transient”, art has become a fixture of post-modern artistic expression, as well as its eco-socio-political commentary and/or performance. This mixture is seldom better illustrated than with ‘How to Build a Forest‘ — a new art work by Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour (who bill themselves as ‘PearlD’Amour’) with help from visual artist Shawn Hall and a bunch of high school kids from New Orleans.

Part traditional art installation and part theatrical performance, HTBAF, will evolve over an 8 hour period as it gradually fills the entire interior space of the venue (The Kitchen, NYC). Meant to illustrate “the disconnect between urban dwellers and the natural world”, the installation “build” will take about 6 hours, the completed work will “show” for a mere 30 minutes, followed by the “tear down” lasting about 2 and a half hours.

“We build it. It’s gorgeous. It’s gone.” — Katie Pear, Lisa D’Amou & Shawn Hall

The “forest” is actually composed of fabric, gauge steel and found materials. Visitors are encourage to mingle amongst the emerging “flora” as it takes shape. A complete guide to the sources (and final destinations) of the materials used in the artwork with be provided to visitors attending the show, along with a pamphlet of text and images about the work.

According to a PR newsletter*:

How To Build A Forest is inspired in part by the loss of 100 trees at D’Amour’s family home in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina and was subsequently informed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “

The installation-performance will premier this coming Friday, June 17, 2011, at the Kitchen in New York City.

Both artists were Creative Capital Grant awardees for Performance in 2009. Follow this link to learn more about the work of Lisa D’Amour, this link to learn more about the work of Katie Pearl, and this link to learn more about New Orleans artist Shawn Hall.

* The Creative Capital (.org) newsletter for June 13, 2011

Photo: (‘How to build a Forest’, art installation)  Greg Williams

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