Anita Fuchs works in and with nature. She collects plants, stones and fossils for her artistic research and processes her finds in all sorts of ways, often liaising closely with scientists. For Cℓose/d, the artist has chosen to transform the little oasis in front of KUNST HAUS WIEN into a nature observation station. Plant fossils, a lichen-covered stone, plants from the museum's own green spaces and the banks of the Danube Canal, a telescope, and a live video feed invite visitors to take a closer look and discover the flora of the immediate surroundings.
The German word Blattvergesellschaftung [i.e. ‘leaf assemblage’] is a technical term from biology and describes the superimposition of several botanical fossils. As the title of Anita Fuchs’s work, it can also be read as a metaphor for a social, scientific and ecological living community, a complicity necessary for all species to coexist as a community.
The artist uses a display cabinet to showcase 1.7 million-year-old fossils of a wide variety of plants, including walnut, willow, oak, pine, swamp cypress, fern, water chestnut, water milfoil, water lily and bog-myrtle. She complements these with plants that refer to present-day or contemporary-historical contexts, for instance the flower of a knotweed from the vicinity of a nuclear research centre or a leaf from the Kernstock-Linde in the city park Graz. In a miniature experimental box, the artist has re-populated the bark of a 1000-year-old oak with moss; meanwhile a monitor screen allows visitors to observe the animal and botanical life playing out on the roof garden of KUNST HAUS WIEN in real time.
Anita Fuchs’s project tells of changes in the ecosystem and of time as a linking dimension. As it spans the arc from fossil to present-day plants here and now, Blattvergesellschaftungen is also a call to think beyond the boundaries of time and space and to position oneself within this community that transcends that time and space.
* 1968 in south-eastern Styria, lives and works in Vienna and Graz.
Anita Fuchs transforms the Grätzl Oasis in front of KUNST HAUS WIEN into a nature observation station. Plant fossils, a miniature experimental box, a telescope as well as shrub and tree species invite visitors to take a closer look and discover the flora of the nearby surroundings. At the same time, the artist's project tells of changes in the ecosystem and of time as a dimension that creates bonds.