cincinnati

Michael Sailstorfer, Forst (Forest), 2010/2014, trees, motors, steel, dimensions variable.

Michael Sailstorfer

Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

Michael Sailstorfer, Forst (Forest), 2010/2014, trees, motors, steel, dimensions variable.

Michael Sailstorfer is not the first artist to upend a tree; no doubt, he won’t be the last. Georg Baselitz inverted pictorial tradition in his iconic Der Wald auf dem Kopf (The Forest on Its Head), 1969; Rodney Graham’s photographic series “Oxfordshire Oaks,” 1990, depicts singular oaks in reverse, as they are actually received by the eye (and analog camera); Natalie Jeremijenko’s live, upturned trees, suspended in the air, perversely twist into seemingly unnatural forms in a vain attempt to right themselves in Tree Logic, 1999. Together, these constitute an offbeat iconography amid which one might situate Sailstorfer’s Forst (Forest), 2010/2014, a work that, in its current iteration, consists of three inverted felled trees hanging from a steel framework. Each is attached to a motor that slowly rotates the trees in place at different yet consistent speeds. Branches gently touch

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