Echoing Trees, the new collective exhibition at Xippas Paris, begins at a time when living beings seek to awaken from their winter sleep; it invites the viewer to question the cyclical rhythm of existence, with its periods of growth and decline, joy and sadness, abundance and austerity. Focusing on one form in particular – the tree – but also on the idea of metamorphosis, the exhibition explores the formal potential of this symbolic image.
With works by Darren Almond, Yves Bélorgey, Karishma D’Souza, Valérie Jouve, Vik Muniz, Philippe Ramette, Pablo Reinoso and Yvan Salomone, the exhibition creates a poetic narrative, a forest of symbols where the tree as a form is repeatedly reinterpreted.
The image can refer to the idea of birth, dynamism and progressive change (Yvan Salomone), or seem on the contrary to be immobilised, wounded by the cold and incapable of coming back to life (Darren Almond). Sometimes one can see it as a metaphor for the human body, with its bark transforming into skin (Valérie Jouve); at other times its intertwining branches form an angular silhouette, frozen in a mannered dance (Vik Muniz).
The tree may also shrink and isolate itself, entering into opposition with, if not resistance to the architecture that surrounds it (Valérie Jouve); or engulf it by drowning it in a profusion of foliage, in order to reintegrate a pastoral and somewhat nostalgic touch in the urban landscape (Yves Bélorgey).
It can become a walking surface- a path to follow in an existential and sometimes paradoxical quest – and by upturning our horizon, forces us to adopt another outlook on the world (Philippe Ramette). Under the influence of an industrial material foreign to its nature, it also transforms itself and tends towards an abstraction which gives it lightness and movement, thereby contradicting the hardness of the metal that sculpts it (Pablo Reinoso).
Finally, the tree leans and wraps around itself, symbolically suggesting the idea of cyclical changes, like those of the seasons, be they seasons of the year or seasons of human existence (Karishma D’Souza).