After more than 20 years of work in the field of contemporary art and culture, KONTEJNER is opening a new venue on Friday, September 15th 2023 at 7 p.m. at Odranska street 1/1 in Zagreb. The new venue will open with the installation One Tree ID – How To Become A Tree For Another Tree by an awarded German artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis. The exhibition is open until October 6, from 4 to 8 pm Monday to Friday, and from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturdays. Admission is free of charge.
The biochemical and biopoetic installation One Tree ID – How To Become A Tree for Another Tree is the result of her long-term research into possible nonverbal communication between humans and trees through scent. Alongside scientific collaborators, Meyer-Brandis extracted and collected volatile organic compounds (gases and molecules emitted by each tree) and synthesized them into a perfume that every visitor can apply to their body. In this way, not only can the visitor carry a unique scent identity of the tree they stand next to, but they can also use parts of its communication system to speculatively engage in a conversation at the biochemical level that plants use for information exchange. The artist thus creates a certain empathy towards trees, while questioning the use of one's own senses to establish new connections and inter-species interaction.
For the exhibition at KONTEJNER's new venue in Odranska street, the two-time Prix Ars Electronica laureate Agnes Meyer-Brandis chose the ginkgo tree (ginkgo biloba), and in June of this year, in collaboration with a scientist from the "Jožef Stefan" Institute in Ljubljana, gases and molecules in the tree's roots, trunk, and leaves were individually measured. Out of more than 100 compounds identified during the analysis, three perfumes were created – Cloud of the Roots, Cloud of the Tree Stem, and Cloud of the Tree Crown – and a unique ginkgo tree perfume was synthesized from them, showcased at KONTEJNER at the opening event and during the exhibition, until October 6th 2023.
On Saturday, September 16th, Agnes Meyer-Brandis together with the molecular biologist Manuel Selg will hold the How To Become A Tree for Another Tree workshop at KONTEJNER, Odranska 1/1, Zagreb, from 12 a.m. to 3 p.m. The participants will have the opportunity to learn about the scientific method for measuring odours (VOC measurement) using the concrete example of a ginkgo tree participate in the explanations and conversation with the artist and take part in a central step in the realisation of the artist’s One Tree ID project exhibited on site. In order to participate in the workshop, application mail needs to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, September 15th at 12 a.m. latest. The workshop is free of charge and is held in English.
Agnes Meyer-Brandis (DE) is a Berlin based artist that creates works on the fringes of science, fiction, and fabulation. Educated first in mineralogy, followed by studies at the art academies in Maastricht, Düsseldorf, and Cologne, she has been the founder and director of the Research Raft, an Institute for Art and Subjective Science that is purposefully "asking questions but gives no answers" in fields such as climate research, environmental studies, meteorology, as well as synthetic and artistic biology. Meyer-Brandis’ work has been exhibited worldwide and awarded many prizes, including two Prix Ars Electronica Awards of Distinction, and the European Kairos prize.
The exhibition and workshop are realized within the framework of the European project Future DiverCities supported by the European Union through its Creative Europe programme.