CRIES AND WHISPERS OF TREES Echigo–Tsumari Triennale

Project “Cries and whispers of trees“ by Olga Kisseleva was presented at the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale in 2018. Thanks to the T2T system, she was able to “reunite” Chateaubriand’s cedar with the famous Wollemi Pine (its critically endangered relative, an ancient pine tree growing at the Wollemi National Park in Australia) and with the celebrated Japanese Cedars, which are also “relatives” of Chateaubriand’s cedar, like the other descendants of the Wollemi Pine.

The project for Echigo-Tsumari Art Field consists of several parts. One of them is the temporary installation for the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, which was made up of three cedars – a French one, a Japanese one, and an Australian one. The second part, a permanent exhibition in Yazawa house, will allow a visitor to spend a night in the installation. This is similar to other “house installations” in the area, which have been created by Marina Abramovich, James Turrell, and Ilya Kabakov. Olga Kisseleva's project features famous regional trees and, a garden created by the artist in collaboration with Gilles Clement and Japanese gardeners.

The Yazawa House EDEN reestablishes the “celestial” harmony and reconnects the visitors with the forest expanse of the Tokamashi region. This is the Bijinnbayashi Forest, which is also known as the Forest of Beauty, in the Matsunoyama and Niroku region. According to an ancient legend, the roots of one of these trees have a special power.

The development of the EDEN project has enabled Olga Kisseleva to draw important scientific conclusions. One of the artist’s fundamental creations in the art&science field is a new kind of organic network, which is based on a plant environment. The author has investigated the latest scientific hypotheses on plant communication, which demonstrate the existence of such communication, not only within a single species.

Olga Kisseleva’s engagement with ancient European and Japanese culture expands the toolkit of Eco-art. Her works reflect the influence of Shinto traditions. The key spiritual principle of Shinto is living in harmony with nature and with human beings. According to the Shinto cosmology, the world is a single natural environment, in which the kami (the spiritual essence), the people, and the souls of the dead all live together. This conception of the world as a unified system is reflected in her works.