Artist sets up forest in Austrian stadium as nature’s last redoubt

Almost 50 years after Joni Mitchell sang about putting a tree in a tree museum, a Swiss artist has set up a whole forest in a stadium to make a similar environmental point. Basel-based Klaus Littmann installed 300 trees in a 30,000-capacity stadium in Klagenfurt in southern Austria, near the border of Italy and Slovenia.
“For many, because of the current situation, this represents a memorial as part of the climate change discussion,” he told Reuters at the exhibition in the lakeside city.

Mitchell’s 1970 song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ – and its refrain “They paved paradise/And put up a parking lot” – had a clear green message, suggesting that the world had become so developed that people had to go to museums to see nature.
Littmann did not mention the song but referenced another influence from the same year, a drawing by the artist Max Peintner “who in 1970 had the vision that one day, it could happen that we look at nature in designated areas only, for example in a crater architecture such as a stadium.” The free exhibition opens on Monday and runs until Oct. 27. — Reuters