How a college prank turned into a public art tradition
An Austrian art exhibit explores the value of nature
Hari Sreenivasan: This weekend a remarkable art project opens in Austria. Not in a museum but in a soccer stadium that's typically home to the Austrian Football Second League team. In this temporary "art intervention" called "For Forest: The Unending Attraction of Nature," spectators will see trees in a setting designed to both inspire and warn future generations about the value of nature. NewsHour Weekend's Christopher Booker has the story.
Christopher Booker: In southern Austria, artist Klaus Littmann has transformed the field of a 30,000-seat stadium into a forest.
Klaus Littmann: It goes back to the drawing which we project here by Max Peintner who in 1970 had the vision that one day it could happen that we look at nature and designated areas only, what we have been doing for decades at zoos with endangered animals could happen to nature.
Christopher Booker: Spectators will observe the forest as it stands silently on the field while the local team plays at another stadium in the area for a few weeks. Littmann says his living art installation is designed to challenge viewers to consider the consequences of climate change.
Klaus Littmann: For some this will be a highly symbolic character or of a philosophical character, like the tree of life or the place of longing. Others with an affinity for art might actually see a sculpture or an installation. And for many because of the current situation, this represents a memorial as part of the climate change discussion.
Christopher Booker: The 300 trees will be replanted nearby after the temporary exhibit closes in late October, preserving the stadium forest as a forest sculpture.
Klaus Littmann: If people ask me when is this project successful, I always give the same response. It's successful if this picture goes around the world and more importantly if it stays in people's minds.