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Carried by Cherry trees

June - October 2022

Baumschule Neusiedl, 1100 Vienna

A project in the context of the focus Academy | Art | Public Sphere at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

How to grow together with the ecosystems that support our existence.

Johannes Wiener with young people from the Garden Handicrafts Group and Volkshilfe Vienna

Two years of pandemic, the measures taken against it, war being waged just several hundred kilometers to the east, economic and ecological crisis have shattered the mental health of the population. Depression, anxiety, problems with sleeping and panic attacks affect an increasing percentage of the population, showing very clearly that health is not just the absence of physical illness. Carried by cherry trees should give people a place to relax, calm down or share a conversation, inside a tree in the middle of the city, creating a habitat for countless non-human life. Caring for each other, caring for the land and its biodiversity is in my point of view the only way to deal with individual as well as collective trauma and problems.

A space two by two meters, three meters in the air held up not by columns or ropes but by cherry-trees which have grown, inside the sturcture, becoming inseperable holding it up, as long as they are alive. The basis for the space is a steel-frame, held up (temporarily) with ceiling support (Deckenstützen) as long as the trees need to grow inside the steel frame. Together with young adults from Volkshilfe gardeing and crafts group (Garten- und Handwerk Gruppe) we will build the structure under the guidance of metall-workers, transport it to the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and raise it. Then we will plant cherry trees (between 4 and 8) which we have grown in our own small nursery at Zukunftshof and every winter we will come to weave them into the steel structure, fusing them to achieve a co-creation of the cherry tree and our human labour. After 5-10 years when the trees are sufficently strong, the ceiling support is removed in a celebration, creating a space that is held up only by the growth of the cherries.