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What is not a tree

According to the RAE, a tree is defined as “A plant with a woody and elevated stem, which branches at a certain height from the ground”, however, for centuries there has been a debate about when to consider that a plant has become a tree or not. In fact, there are countless inert objects, diagrams or formal structures that are considered trees, as is the case of parsing or the dendrogram that reflects the kinship of a group of humans.

With the premise “what is not a tree”, the young artist Max Azemar has made a performative exhibition in which he explained the results of his research (Art Jove Creació 2022 award). With his intervention, Max sows the doubt of whether the typical tree shape present in our collective imagination can continue to validate hierarchical structures, or perhaps it has become obsolete considering the multitude of forms that a tree can have and also the social structures. The event was curated by environmentalist and artist Paula Bruna, who is currently on a postdoctoral stay at IBB focused on the reinterpretation of the plant world from a non-human point of view.

Max Azemar presenting his project at IBB.

During the afternoon of May 18, those attending the event were able to enjoy the results of Max’s project, who acted as rhapsodist, performer and botanical guide. The event concluded with an enjoyable talk that brought together artists, scientists and people fascinated by plants. In short, “What is not a tree” has interwoven a connection between two disciplines as apparently different as the arts and sciences, but which in the end share great similarities such as the creative restlessness or the need to transmit knowledge to society.

From IBB we wish Max the best of luck, hoping that we can continue building bridges between botany and art, two branches of knowledge that have always gone hand in hand and together form a powerful and beautiful duo.


Author: Iván Pérez-Lorenzo

Nomenclatural type catalogue