LISTENING TO TREES ACROSS THE JORDAN RIVER
The exhibition at the Negev Museum of Art is part of an international project, which originated in 2016 across the Middle East. The project is based on the idea of continuing the restoration of the enchanted gardens of Eden and Arcadia, in an effort to restore extinct plant species and prevent the loss of endangered ones. In collaboration with botanists and geneticists in the enterprise restores native plants of the area. Among the restored species are trees carrying profound symbolic meanings that interweave elements of history, philosophy, and religion, which enables also the restoration of fragments of lost cultures.
BNW (Biological NetWork) is a series of technology-based works at the center of the research and the exhibition on display on the top floor. Following studies that have pointed to the ability of plants to communicate among themselves, Kisseleva examines the notion of listening to the inter-tree conversation, and perhaps even participating in it.
The revival of extinct plants and the study of environmental and ecological issues is an important part of the agenda of science, including in Israel. In the Negev and in the Arava desert, there are efforts to restore legendary local species such as the Balm of Gilead (Afarsimon), which was believed to have healing properties, and the date palm, a major local nutritional resource. The works connect the various research fields and give them a new visual dimension, enabling the imagining of the past through thinking about the present and the future. At the close of the exhibition, on the ground floor, the visitors can meet the growing future – living trees raised from ancient seeds.