Claudia Comte, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019). Installation view. Photo: Roman März
Claudia Comte, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019). Installation view. Photo: Roman März

Claudia Comte

I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees

08.02.

– 01.09.19

For her first exhibition in Denmark, Claudia Comte has created I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees, an immersive installation for Copenhagen Contemporary’s largest hall. The exhibition brings together sculpture, sound and performance, geometry, archaeology, and the natural sciences.

Inside CC’s 1100 sq. m hall, rows of six-metre-tall debarked trees are positioned along a black and white graphic grid on a digitally printed carpet. A large ceramic sculpture sits at the centre of this seemingly peaceful forest enveloped by filtered light, sound, and the mild scent of resin released by the pale spruces.

Moving through the exhibition, however, a collapse of order becomes apparent. The trunks have been struck by a powerful force and are suspended in an entropic state. The geometrical grid of the carpet evokes the root system of the trees, which, via underground fungi networks, communicate with other trees along the forest floor. The grid – a structure relaying order and clarity – is also distorted, visualising the effects of this large-scale disturbance upon the forest ecosystem, above and below ground.

Comte’s particular interest in the forest stems from her childhood spent in the Swiss countryside. Known for her large-scale installations that bring together organic forms, digital technologies, and handmade sculptures, Comte’s work highlights the history of materiality and industrial production. As such, the spruce trees of I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees may be viewed as time capsules where varying climate conditions are reflected in the way the trunks’ annual rings grow at different rates. This is worth bearing in mind when walking among the spruces, all approximately one hundred years old.

The morphing contours of Comte’s sculptural work suggest organic life. Her high-spirited approach to nature’s beauty and strength aims to evoke appreciation beyond reverence. The exhibition’s graphic language recalls teenage discovery and comic-book adventures, inspiring awareness of the Earth’s fragile ecosystems through a renewed love of the environment.

Visitors are invited to walk amongst the trees, climb the fallen trunks, and take in the views of the collapsed forest. Evoking early memories, they are welcome to engrave their names or statements into the trunks. The artist also invites the audience to participate in a series of performances scheduled for the exhibition period.

Claudia Comte was personally involved in the process of sourcing the trees and for every felled tree two new have been planted.

About Claudia Comte (b.1983)

Claudia Comte is known for her immersive environments consisting of sculptures, paintings, digital technologies and interactive installations, which are often activated by performers or the audiences themselves. Comte studied at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) and the Haute Ecole Pédagogique, Visual Arts. Recent exhibitions include: The Morphing Scallops, Gladstone Gallery, New York (2019), Electric Burst (Lines and Zigzags), Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis (2018), When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, König Galerie, Berlin (2018), Zigzags and Diagonals, MOCA Cleveland (2018), Swiss Performance Now, Kunsthalle Basel (2018), 10 Rooms, 40 Walls, 1059m2, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne (2017) and Desert X, Palm Springs (2017).

Claudia Comte, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019). Installation view at Copenhagen Contemporary. Photo: Roman März

Claudia Comte, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019). Installation view at Copenhagen Contemporary. Photo: Roman März

Claudia Comte, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019). Installation view at Copenhagen Contemporary. Photo: Roman März