Artist transforms football stadium into a forest with 300 trees

WNM | Sep 6, 2019 at 10:00 AM

A temporary art intervention by Klaus Littmann that will transform Wörthersee football stadium in Klagenfurt into Austria’s largest public art installation from 9 September – 27 October 2019.

KLAGENFURT, September 6 (WNM) - Inspired by The Unending Attraction of Nature, a dystopian drawing by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner (b. 1937) that Littmann discovered almost thirty years ago, FOR FOREST finally brings that vision to life. Through this monumental installation Littmann aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future. Furthermore, the project 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, as is already the case with animals in zoos.

Overseen by Enea Landscape Architecture, around 300 trees, some weighing up to six tonseach, will be carefully transplanted over the existing football pitch to give the impression of a native central European forest. Once transplanted the forest will take on a life of its own, change colours as the season turns and attract wildlife.

Seating up to 30,000 spectators, the surroundings of Wörthersee Stadium will dramatically shape the visitor experience. From 10am until 10pm daily, audiences will experience a unique panorama of trees, day and night, under natural light or by floodlight. Encountering FOR FOREST will trigger a multiplicity of responses and emotions, and depending on the time of day or night the trees will form an ever-changing landscape. This captivating panorama will pave the way for a whole new perspective and understanding of forests.

After the free art intervention at the stadium ends on 27 October 2019, the forest will be carefully replanted on a public site in close proximity to Wörthersee Stadium at a scale of 1:1 and remain as a living ‘forest sculpture’. Parallel to this, a pavilion will be built in order to document the project for the long-term.

The journey to realising FOR FOREST traces a line back to exhibitions Littmann curated and produced such as Fussball in der Vitrine (with Jehle) in 1982 in Basel; Kultort Stadion, Basel 2003; Faces of Football, Vigo, 2008; Move for Life, Lyon, 2011; Real Fiction Cinema (touring installation), 2010-2012 (Switzerland)/ 2015-2016 (China) and Jardin des Planètes, Basel 2018. These projects among others reveal Littmann’s longstanding interest in the relationship of popular culture with art.

Born in 1951, Klaus Littmann lives and works in Basel, Switzerland. Littmann studied at Düsseldorf Art Academy with Joseph Beuys and established himself as a mediator of contemporary art. He made his name through unique solo and group exhibitions positioned in diverse contexts. After many years working within gallery and museum spaces, he started presenting theme oriented art exhibitions in the public arena. Underlying each of his complex and unique projects is a dichotic tension highlighting the artist’s preoccupation with everyday culture and the confrontation between contemporary art and urban spaces. Littmann’s ability to discover previously unknown creative talent as well as collaborating with internationally known artists is the determinant quality factor in every project delivered by Littmann Culture Projects.