Plastic trees

Somewhere in the countryside, in a meadow surrounded by trees and shrubs stand three wooden poles. Their function remains unclear. Are they the start of a climbing frame? A hut, a partition? Are they trees that have been sawn and stripped for unknown reasons to the viewer? But in that case they’d probably not have stood so close to one another. Moreover the trees have been wrapped in transparent strips of plastic that are tautly spun from pole to pole and seem to hold the poles together. Or is it rather that the poles are necessary to hold the plastic taught? Without the plastic it would be three loose poles, but through these transparent bands – that allow the sun in patches to dance between the poles – they have become a whole. Almost fence-like, a partition, or a freestanding object. An image, that, although existing from wood, no longer has connection to its surrounding trees, grasses and shrubs. Without this ‘construction’ of wood and plastic, our natural surroundings wouldn’t stand out. By capturing this small intervention, we are suddenly aware of how little it takes to turn an apparently unremarkable environment into something with meaning. We would have passed by unknowingly, but there is now unexpectedly an image that holds a tension and reflects a power, in this way forming a contrast with its wildly flourishing surroundings, blowing to and fro. Sometimes you just need a little hint to become aware of something. Sometimes you experience it without being aware. Then it bothers you, because there’s something you can see and feel, without being able to put your finger on it. That something is in this image from Jaap Scheeren: You ask yourself agitatedly what it is exactly that you see, and why it bothers you. Until all of a sudden you see.

Jaap Scheeren