Ser árvore e arte [Being Tree and Art], 2000/02
Tree, soil, grass, stone, wood, glass
c. Ø 1600 cm
Coll. Fundação de Serralves — Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto
Alberto Carneiro (São Mamede do Coronado, Portugal, 1937) has been developing a remarkable relationship between art and nature.
Ser árvore e arte is characteristic of Alberto Carneiro’s oeuvre in its relationship to nature and the experience of the viewer. Seven holes around a tree lined with stones are covered with glass panels inscribed with text. Beside each hole are piles of earth displaced by the artist’s excavations. The circular arrangement refers to the mandala as geometric representation of man’s relationship to the cosmos. As viewers approach the glass panels, they are able not only to see the reflection of the branches of the tree at the centre, but also their own reflection, establishing a communion between the human body, nature, and art.
This work was commissioned for the Serralves Park and installed in 2002 as part of Porto 2001: European Capital of Culture.