The Hidden Quantum Life (after Penone)

The Hidden Quantum Life (after Penone)


“My artwork shows, with the language of sculpture, the essence of matter and tries to reveal with the work, the hidden life within.”

–Giuseppe Penone


Giuseppe Penone was born in 1947 in Garessio, Italy. He belonged to Italy’s Arte Povera movement of the 1960s. Like many in the group, Penone uses simple materials from daily life to unsettle the boundaries between art and nature, and to point out the interdependence among all organic life forms. His work demonstrates an attitude of astonishment and respect for all materials from the natural environment – stone, resin, leather and wood. In this installation, Penone has carved out the wood to reveal its past, showing the tree that grew inside so that it may “live” in the present. Rather than imposing a form, the artist — in contrast to the architect of this space — draws out an existing form.

De Wilde’s ‘tree’ is algorithmically generated and 3d printed, suggesting the blurring of the natural and the synthetic, past and future, virtual and real. The sculpture’s morphology is created with quantum measurement data, hence giving us an insight into the highly abstract, and invisible to the human eye, subatomic world(s) which pulsates as a vital force in all living things in an ongoing exchange between the self and the world, the interaction between inner and outer realms. Inspired by the quiet slowness of growth in the natural world, the work suggests a sense of time much broader than that encountered in our daily existence.

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