In a special, site-specific performance conceived by Swiss artist Claudia Comte, contemporary dancer and choreographer Kiani Del Valle navigates the fragile ecosystem of Comte’s 2019 installation I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees.

Comte drew on her childhood to develop the piece, which delves into her lifelong fascination with trees and wood. The surreal installation took over the Copenhagen Contemporary’s largest hall and saw the shaved trunks of 45 century-old spruce trees spring up inside in the space.

Claudia Comte, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019), courtesy Copenhagen Contemporary. Photography: Roman März

An enormous embroidered carpet with a distorted grid motif represented the forest’s root system and a three-metre-high ceramic sculpture, supposedly forged in the heart of a volcano, served as a focal point.

In this film, captured by videographer Sander Houtkruijer, Del Valle picks her way across the forest floor towards the ceramic sculpture, accompanied by an electronic score by Austrian producer Egon Elliut.

Claudia Comte, I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees (2019), courtesy Copenhagen Contemporary. Photography: Roman März

I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees was originally commissioned by the Copenhagen Contemporary Museum and ran from 8 February – 1 September 2019. Comte invited audiences to touch the trees – sustainably sourced from forests in Switzerland and replanted at a ratio of 2:1 – and mark them with their names as part of the installation, which explored the history and materiality of wood.

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