November 29, 2020
We’ve neglected the arts of late. That simply won’t do:
“Trees are like human beings,” says the performance artist Marina Abramovic. “They have intelligence. They have feelings. They communicate with each other. And also, they are perfectly silent listeners. You can complain to them.” And letting out your frustrations about a dire 2020 to a tree is exactly the advice the artist is giving the public.
Ah, the practical and the profound, together at last.
The participatory performance Complain to a Tree is the latest addition to the “Abramovic Method”—a series of exercises developed by the artist for practicing being present—which she will reveal on a new Sky Arts programme. Abramovic is taking over the TV channel for five hours on 5 December, to teach audiences about performance art.
At which point, regulars of this parish may feel a little superior, more culturally elevated, given their familiarity with said artistic form.
But back to the humanoid trees:
Don’t immediately hug the tree.
No, of course. That would be foolish.
Just feel the energy of the tree. Even not touching it but just holding your hands a little bit above.
And then complain your heart into it. This is the whole idea.
The entirety, one might say. The total vastness of the idea.
Have any of you ever complained to a tree before? No. So this is something that you will be doing for the first time. This is like a journey into the unknown.
I know. It’s one thrill after another.
I hope we can create some kind of trend, that actually people are going to run to the parks and start complaining to the trees. This is one way of healing at this moment of our history.
Because howling at trees will make us better, you see. More well-adjusted.
negativity... is absorbed into the bark of the tree. And you feel rejuvenated.
You heard the lady. Get thee to the nearest park. And do let us know how it goes.