House in the woods

In 1854, Henry David Thoreau wrote the classic American book, Walden; or, Life in the Woods as a response to the industrial revolution and the subsequent change in the pace of living. It describes two years of solitude, living in the woods on Walden Pond in a self-built cabin with only the basics to survive. By building the cabin, Thoreau had hoped to isolate himself from society in order to gain a more objective understanding of it, as well as his need for a simpler life and a sort of self-reliance. House in the Woods, the structure of a small house set among the trees, is built with Walden as its starting point. In the context of the Darmstadt forest it functions as a stage or film set from which the observer can see nature, or be seen within it. Thoreau urged everyone to ‘spend one day deliberately as Nature’, and this work allows visitors to do so, on their own terms. It draws attention to the fact that the notion of Nature has returned to a romantic ideal, completing the cycle. It is a lament for our loss of connection with the land, the instinct we see draining from ourselves, represented in an homage to a time past.

2008
group exhibition and symposium
'4.Internationaler Waldkunstpfad / Kreisläufe und Systeme'
Darmstadt (Germany)

457x305x245 cm
plywood