Some leaves, tree needles, and a few fists of earth

“The outsiders come to Lipica from all corners to see this wonder – a green island amidst Karst. How is this possible?”1
The committee [for Karst afforestation in Goriška – Gradiš?ansko] has planted 10,699.550 seedlings in six years (1885 – 1891), from which 6,403.320 in new groves, while 4,296.230 seedlings have been used to fill the previous ones.2

The piece Some leaves, tree needles, and a few fists of earth touches upon the question of the bareness and the almost Sisyphus-like reforestation of the karstic regions. My interest rose a few years ago when someone said to me, the Venetians are to blame ... I am intrigued with the field of relations between images, between truths, between myths, spaces and times. What is a myth, what is real(ity), what is (which) truth and who does it belong to? Which truth does the collective consciousness (write and) accept and how does it change through time? What do you know and believe in?
Reforestation of Karst was broadely implemented in the second half of the nineteenth and continued deep into the twentieth century. With the present state, when around 50% of the Slovenian part Karst is covered in woods, it is almost unfathomable what efforts have accompanied the aforestations. It is hard to imagine that in two hundred years (for forests we presume not such a long time) such a considerable change has indeed occured, a reverse process from (almost, in many parts) rock desert back to wooden areas. But we still say the Karst is bare. And we still like to blame someone for it ... 3, 4

1 Danilo Lokar, Pogozdovanje Krasa (source: Naša sodobnost, 1960, year 8, Nr. 8/9)
2 Franjo Jurhar, Razvoj metod in tehnike pogozdovanja (source: Gozd na krasu slovenskega primorja, F. Jurhar, J. Miklavži?, F. Sevnik, B. Žagar, Publications of the Slovenian Technical Museum, Nr. 11, Ljubljana 1963)
3 Photograph: (Slovenian) Karst reforestation around 1900 (source: documentation of Technical Museum of Slovenia)
4 drawings source: instructions on bended wood cultivation for ship building, Venetian forestry regulations, 1778, original in Piran archives (SI PAK PI - Stampe/Tiskovine)

2012, OHO nominees exhibition, April 2012, Galerija Vžigalica