Stories of a Tree was made at Koumaria Residency
It was a site-specific installation that took place on a tree in a coffee shop in the village of Selassia. The tree became the agent of cultural information and storytelling, utilizing various recording media to narrate stories about the past and present of the village through moving images, photos, and sound.
On the branches of the tree, a video projection blended textures with images from the village, serving as the initial visual encounter with the installation for the audience from afar. As people approached the tree, they encountered several small black boxes placed on the trunk, displaying photos of Selassia's windows. Upon getting closer to these boxes, the audience could listen to various stories told by the inhabitants of Selassia themselves emanating from the boxes.
One of the black boxes featured a video showcasing Selassia, its inhabitants, their customs, and the surrounding area as the main focus. The sonic environment, created solely with sound recordings captured from an olive tree and the soundscape of Selassia, permeated from all around the tree.
The primary objective of this project was to engage with the inhabitants of Selassia by involving them in the work and making their history and way of life the central theme. We aimed to establish a connection with the residents of Selassia, to get to know them and vice versa, informing them that every year a group of artists from around the world visits the village and becomes their temporary neighbors. We sought to interact with them and encourage their participation in our work, as we believe that people and their stories are crucial elements in the creation of art. Additionally, we aimed to explore how a natural object like a tree could be transformed into a storyteller using recording media and the creative possibilities that such media offer.
Sound Design: Panos Amelides
Photography and Video: Clara Bianchi
Video and Electronic: Gwenn Joyaux
With the collaboration of: Ian Hattwick, Marco Zaccaria
Boxes were made by: Guy Joyaux, Jérôme Nicolas
Documentary’s Crew
Camera + Sound: Clara Bianchi, Gwenn Joyaux, Kelopatra Korai, Michael Tebinka, Shahir Krishnaswamy
Edition + Postproduction: Gwenn Joyaux
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