The Forest Underneath
Italy – 2020
Video – duration 10 min
The Forest Underneath takes us to the contended area in and around the Hambach forest, the last remnant of an ecosystem that once occupied the entire Rhine valley. The forest, of which only 10% remains, borders the largest open-pit coal mine in Europe. This is a place where corporate exploitation, environmental activism, and environmental degradation coexist. When energy company RWE announced its plans to clear the forest, environmentalists came into action. A diverse group of activists took permanent residence within the forest, in self-built ‘barrios’ and treehouses, behind barricades, to protect it from planned destruction. In this video, Paolo Patelli shows us what it means to live in these areas.
Paolo Patelli― Artist
Paolo Patelli manipulates spatial practice and artistic research methods. He engages critically with the materialities, scenes and atmospheres at the intersections of space and society, technologies and environments. He is currently a 2020/2021 Fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude. He is Associate Reader at the Design Academy Eindhoven; Research Associate at the Research Center for Material Culture; and Tutor at the Sandberg Instituut. He was a 2019/2020 Research Fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut. He was artist-in-residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (2017/18). He collaborated with the Programme d’Expérimentation en Arts Politiques at Sciences Po (Paris), and taught at The New School’s Parsons Paris. He has exhibited internationally, including in the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. He holds a PhD from Politecnico di Milano. He lives and works in Amsterdam.