In the summer of 2012 a unique park – the grounds of Gottorp Manor on the outskirts of Malmö – was entirely destroyed. The manor and the park were threatened by the new residential development in neighbouring Bunkeflo while the new outer ring road created a new boundary. One of the trees in the park was a rare giant copper beech which generations of local children had climbed.What did the people of Malmö lose when the park was destroyed? What does a tree cost?For the woodcutter who was contracted to fell the trees the timber itself is the only thing of value. But what was the value to Malmös municipal gardener, who expressly claims to want to conserve the citys mature trees? What can the ecologist, who works with green areas in the urban environment, tell us about the value of biological diversity? What is the value of a tree to a child who climbs it? Or for someone who just wants to stand beside it and feel its presence.In our video installation, “How much for a tree?” – made in collaboration with Nils Bergendal – we seek to describe the artistic and human value of a tree. Viewers can join a dizzying climb to the very top of the giant tree. We have also sought to give expression to the feelings one experiences in the presence of these numerous tall trees. In our book, also entitled “How much for a tree?”, we perform the drama of the fate of Gottorp Manor.
The exhibition shows that a planning process can go wild regardless of good intentions. It does not suggest responsible institutions or persons, but reveals their reasoning. The exhibit suggests that the values that are lost during a sloppy planning process are difficult to value in money. The values of the hundred-year-old park are impossible to evaluate through objective measures. The trees are aesthetic totalities. It is also about the relation that humans can have with trees. Is it harmonious or always destructive? In these anthropocentric times they are more likely to be destructive, so what is the potential of the meeting between the human body and the full-grown tree? We suggest that it demands a non-anthropocentric and aesthetic approach to really understand the importance trees can have for the world.
The duo GORA/BANDOLIN have previously done several investigative projects related to garbage. The exhibition “Garbage museum” investigate and explore our society’s relationship to various objects and things. The project reflect on the thrown objects place in history, our culture and the meanings they carry. What was once a great innovation, a testament to humanity’s progress, will be relegated to the past and buried at the dump. Nothing is too sacred to be thrown away. Now, turn has come to the living, here represented by the trees. Trees thrown away, not because of a need for timber, but discarded because they are not wanted anymore. There is no place for trees anymore.