FOR FOREST – The Unending Attraction of Nature is a temporary art intervention by Klaus Littmann that will transform Wörthersee football stadium in Klagenfurt into Austria’s largest public art installation from 8 September – 27 October 2019.
Inspired by The Unending Attraction of Nature, a dystopian drawing by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner (b. 1937) that Littmann discovered almost thirty years ago, FOR FOREST finally brings that vision to life. Through this monumental installation Littmann aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future. Furthermore, the project seeks to become a memorial, reminding us that nature, which we so often take for granted, may someday only be found in specially designated spaces, as is already the case with animals in zoos. Overseen by Enea Landscape Architecture, around 300 trees, some weighing up to six tons each, will be carefully transplanted over the existing football pitch to give the impression of a native central European forest. Once transplanted the forest will take on a life of its own, change colours as the season turns and attract wildlife.
Seating up to 30,000 spectators, the surroundings of Wörthersee Stadium will dramatically shape the visitor experience. From 10am until 10pm daily, audiences will experience a unique panorama of trees, day and night, under natural light or by floodlight. Encountering FOR FOREST will trigger a multiplicity of responses and emotions, and depending on the time of day or night the trees will form an ever-changing landscape. This captivating panorama will pave the way for a whole new perspective and understanding of forests.
After the free art intervention at the stadium ends on 27 October 2019, the forest will be carefully replanted on a public site in close proximity to Wörthersee Stadium at a scale of 1:1 and remain as a living ‘forest sculpture’. Parallel to this, a pavilion will be built in order to document the project for the long-term. The journey to realising FOR FOREST traces a line back to exhibitions Littmann curated and produced such as Fussball in der Vitrine with Jehle (Basel, 1982); Kultort Stadion (Basel, 2003); Faces of Football (Vigo & Vitoria, 2008); Move for Life (Basel, Lyon, Paris, 2006-2011); Real Fiction Cinema, (Switzerland, 2010-2012 & China, 2015-2016) and Jardin des Planètes (Basel, 2018). These projects among others reveal Littmann’s longstanding interest in the relationship of popular culture with art.