Some centuries ago landscape painters taught us to appreciate the quality of an untouched landscape. Ever since we have been doing everything to recreate it. We camouflage cell phone antenna mast to look like trees, we fly thousands of miles to experience a pristine landscape — and, as of this month, we can visit a native European forest inside an Austrian football stadium.
The installation, titled For Forest: The Unending Attraction of Nature, houses 299 native Central European tree species and has turned into a lush forest of birches, willows, maples and oaks and many other varieties. With the ephemeral forest, the stadium hopes to attract wildlife (including humans, although humans are not allowed to walk around inside the forest) during the seven weeks the installation is open.
The project is designed by Swiss curator Klaus Littmann as a commemorative to the environment: “[It] aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future,” it reads on the official 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".
It’s certainly an unusual sight, but as you enjoy the following images why not ask yourself: Is a forest in a football stadium the best way to speak about climate change?
Photography: Gerard Maurer and UNIMO.