GHOST FOREST collaboration with Lilia Chak

“Ghost Forest” is a large-scale installation that combines virtual and real elements of extinct trees. It consists of a video series that shows the shadows cast by the leaves of a long-vanished palm tree, native to the Negev, that has recently been revived; and of a collection of golden mini-sculptures sculptures that recreate fragments of seeds of extinct local plants that have been found by archaeologists.

This unique specimen of palm tree, nicknamed “Methuselah”, grew 1500 years after the total extinction of its “brothers”, thanks to the efforts of the biologist Ellein Solowey. It has sprouted from an ancient palm seed found in the ruins of the Masada fortress. In the distant past, these desert lands were home to groves of palm trees. The date palm was one of the “Seven Species” – the most important plants that fed the Israelites for many centuries.

“Methuselah”, the first tree of the future EDEN garden of “resurrected” extinct species, has already been revived. In the future – a mere twenty years from now – we will be able to take a walk in such a forest, enjoying the singing of the nesting birds, listening to the rustling of the leaves, and breathing in the old-new fragrance of the legendary fruit of the date palm.

This project “intermixes” the ancient and the modern worlds, utilizing plant species recreated by archaeobotanists for this purpose. This enables the “transmission of information” from the ancient world to the modern one, and vice versa. It also creates the possibility of future communication between two types of plants – recreated extinct species and those yet to be recreated.

The “Ghost Forest” installation draws the viewer into an exciting journey by means of its “vegetative time machine” – the ghostly forest made up of future resurrected trees. The artist wish to instill the hope that, within our lifetimes, we will be able to recreate the ancient landscape and repair the damage inflicted upon nature by humanity.