a tree planted in water at the venice biennale represents the wisdom of listening

May 20, 2021

at the venice architecture biennale 2021, giuseppe penone in collaboration with chus martínez installed ‘the listener’, an elm tree cradling a heavy stone between its branches, planted in the waters of venice. the work named ‘idee di pietra – olmo (ideas of stone- elm)’ represents a symbolic prompt of the potential generous listener within each of us and the coming into life of giuseppe’s new philanthropic organization.

giuseppe penone chose the tree because to him it holds the wisdom of listening as it has listened to earth and all the living beings for centuries. it is an invitation to a moment of reflection on the vitality and magic of what listening can bring to the inner and outer worlds. the project opens a global conversation about how we can create spaces for listening in 21st-century society in relation to the theme of the biennale ‘how will we live together?’

the work conveys vulsat foundation’s vision to make the quality of our connections an indispensable piece in solving the world’s vast problems. established in 2020, vulsat foundation endeavors to create awareness about and spread the skill of generous listening and this work marks the launch of the foundation.

image © designboom

project info:

name: the listener

location: venice architecture biennale 2021

artist:giuseppe penone

commissioned by: vulsat foundation

materials: bronze, river stone, water

dimensions: 874 x 280 x 170 cm