Danh Vo’s Tropeaolum takes root in this greenhouse of metal, concrete, and stone to create a shifting territory where narratives become intertwined. The trunks of oak trees, victims of time and storms, which were selected together with the French National Forest Department, are held up by wooden structures used in construction. Pieces of wood from sustainable forests owned by Craig McNamara belonging to the artist also form part of this installation.
The artist was transformed by this new relationship to “nature”, to this garden and to the earth. Flowers, mushrooms, moss, trees, and the interactions between plants have become very prominent elements in his work. In a careful and close relationship to the Rotunda and under the marouflage canvas adorning the base of its cupola, this work responds to the colonial, expansionist world view depicted by the canvas’ nineteenth century painters. Danh Vo’s arrangement of objects and artifacts explores their symbolic and emotional charge, and their power of evocation and remediation.