> Art00+4 publication. 2004. Text by Pierre-Olivier Rollin.
> Art00+4 publication 2004. Text by Nathalie Joiris
> Live tree in White Chapel Hospital, London. 1997
> And... If the tree refused... ? Text by Félix Roulin. 1994

Art00+4 publication. 2004. Text by Pierre-Olivier Rollin.

The tree, a secular symbol widely known across the world, is, at the end of this millennium, the subject of different plastic approaches, which are the reflection of concerns, that are sometimes differ a lot Its roots growing in the soil and its slow growth towards the sky place it in the conjunction of abundant processes. (...) In this context, Nathalie Joiris has a particular position. In her speech, sensitive to the protection of the biosphere, we also find a warning against a totalitarian ecological drift. She writes “we shouldn’t, under the cover of an ecological urgency and pursuit of original nature, come to lock up nature (..) on forbidden zones. We would go from human supremacy to nature supremacy. We have to reach a relation of complementarity en mutual enrichment. (...) This desirable balance has an original plastic formulation in her sculptures. Her favourite materials are young tree shoots. Their growth contributes to the development of the sculpture with a heavy affectivity bound to its various symbolical and individual attributions. However, the tree is frustrated in its development by the interventions of the artist that require it to grow curved, in a wooden cage, to go through a wire netting or between two granite stones. The work can cause a shock, a trouble or even a discomfort. But we do then have to wonder about the origin of those discomforts and about their ethical stakes. If we are shocked by an imposed bending of a tree, to which situations are we insensible? Which are the values that establish those different behaviours? By expressing ideas of tension, contraction, bending or growing apart, Nathalie Joiris expresses the shores of the human condition. Her works are also about Man, in his multiple and complex relations with the world. (2000). Beyond their political and moral stakes, the works of Nathalie Joiris form an introspective language, open to sharing and dialogue. “The memories of moments“, trees with roots caught in a knot, fed with a Baxter and hung on the walls, lead to various psychological states that range from fear of the disease to animist protection. The “suitcases”, wooden crates out of which leaves are hanging, suggest travel, nomadism, uprooting , felt like a tragedy or not (trees go on living, even out of the soil), but as the freedom to bloom everywhere.

Pierre-Olivier Rollin 2002